Mosquitoes can be a pesky nuisance and they have a track record for interrupting outdoor activities. The presence of mosquitoes can not only affect the lives of humans but also pets and wildlife through their ability to carry blood-born pathogens.
Besides being annoying mosquitoes may provide a more serious threat to the public health landscape. International air travel and eco-tourism have increased the number of diseases that have been introduced to the United States in recent years. From West Nile to dengue, mosquitoes are carriers of such diseases that can wreak havoc on the human immune system and may cause death.
To reduce risk of mosquito-born illness mosquito control experts around the country employ Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) methods to effectively and safely counter mosquito populations. The keystones of a successful IMM program include the following:
Surveillance – Use traps to identify what species of mosquitoes are breeding in the specific area and determine whether or not there is a potential risk of disease.
Source Reduction– Make sure there is limited if any breeding areas for the mosquitoes. This means removing any standing water like dumping unused bird baths, cleaning out gutters, etc. As an important step in an IMM program it is also noted that it may not be possible in some areas to reduce or remove standing water completely.
Larvicide – If source reduction is not possible to achieve, larviciding may be necessary. Essentially this step in the process is intended to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching into adult mosquitoes. Consult a mosquito control expert to help identify which mosquito control method would be suit the area you are trying to address.
Adulticide– This method if intended to rid areas of adult mosquitoes. Even with larvicide it is impossible to eradicate all of the larvae so to control adult mosquitoes there is the application of adulticides to keep population levels down.
Management– Once the above steps have been completed there is still work to be done to ensure that the mosquito control methods are successful in eradicating risk. Mosquitoes have a keen ability to adapt and over the course of the summer it is possible for mosquitoes to develop resistance to pesticides. Monitoring the possible resistance to different chemicals is a key component to any IMM program.
Education of Public– It is a key part of any IMM program to educate the public and ensure that they understand the components in a program
An integrated mosquito management program is integral to the success of keeping the mosquito population down in your area. Consult a mosquito control expert for ideas regarding an IMM program if you continue to have mosquito control problems. Remember mosquito control is a multi-step process and while you may believe setting up traps will help, mosquito traps as the sole control method will capture approximately 6.4% of your mosquito population.