Mosquito control tips for the home

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The weather is warming up and that means mosquitos will soon be coming out of hiding.

Anyone who lives in the South is accustomed to these flying pests. Even in areas where city employees spray special chemicals to keep populations in check, mosquitos can still be found.

If you live in an area where municipal pest control is not available there are methods to reduce their population around your home.

Mosquitos breed in standing pools of water, and do so successfully in water without fish. Fish love to eat the mosquito larvae, so if there is a ditch near your home with standing water year round consider purchasing minnows or other cheap small fish that can be used to populate the ditch.

Any container, old tires and other receptacles capable of holding water can become a mosquito nursery as well. Be sure to dispose of or turn over any such receptacle so it will not collect rainwater. Old tires are the most difficult to purge of standing water. However, there is a free option to dispose of used tires by taking them to the county barn on U.S. 11 in Millard for recycling.

If you live near a wooded area that is prone to flooding, pools of water left behind can also provide a perfect mosquito breeding ground.  There are larvicide products available to help control their population. They are simple to use; just place them in standing water and the larvae will die before they are old enough to become a nuisance.

It may sound counter productive in the summer heat, but the Mississippi Department of Health regularly suggests wearing clothes that cover as much skin as possible. However, special outdoor clothing is available that features built in repellant, or allows air circulation through a fine mesh.

Decreasing the mosquito population around your home will not only make outside activities more comfortable, but also protect you and your family from vector-borne illnesses, such as West Nile, yellow fever, malaria and many others.