Managing mosquitoes around your home

There are steps you can take to avoid getting eaten alive by these buzzing pests

Prevent mosquito bites by removing any stagnant water that may have accumulated due to recent rain. (Alicia Barrera, Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lately at Casa de Loco, the Nunn residence is buzzing. Maybe you’re hearing the same buzz in your neighborhood.

After a wet couple weeks with summer storms and a tropical storm, the mosquito population has exploded. While the bites are bad, the diseases these pests carry can be much worse.

Mosquito populations boom in two waves after flooding rainfall. They first arrive with the water. Mosquitos deposit eggs on the soil in flooded areas. Then about five to seven days after a flood, large swarms of mosquito eggs hatch. 

A little peace of mind is that floodwater mosquitoes typically do not cause disease.

But two species can present a danger: Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito). They tend to lay eggs in containers, tires, potted plants. These usually hatch in seven days. The worst part is these species prefer to feed on humans and they spread disease.

After flood waters recede and the wave of floodwater mosquitoes disperses, a second group of mosquitoes emerges. These mosquitoes prefer to lay their brood in calm pools of standing water. Some of the disease-carrying mosquitoes belong to this group.

The southern house mosquito transmits West Nile encephalitis. These species lay eggs in roadside ditches, storm sewers, birdbaths or any container that holds water. Like other mosquito species, their eggs hatch in about seven days.

I’ve swatted and sometimes smashed them, but they still keep coming. So, what can we do about them?

Keep calm and practice the four D’s. Use DEET or another mosquito repellent when outside. During the dusk and dawn hours, limit the time you spend outside. As for dress? Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing that covers your arms and legs. (I know, I know, just what we all want to wear during the summer, right?) Finally, drain all empty containers around your house that hold water for more than three days.

Be safe out there, and if all else fails, try getting a bigger mosquito swatter.


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