As we are enjoying such warm weather this summer, so are our mosquitoes here. While we all want to steer clear from being bitten by mosquitoes, we can’t always do so. Mosquito prevention around your home starts with understanding where mosquitoes are breeding in your local community.

Mosquitoes will breed in areas such as ponds, wetlands, retention ponds, and vernal pools. One of the most commonly used places to lay eggs that is often overlooked is artificial containers.

Artificial containers can range from old tires, to flower pots, pet bowls, gutters, bird baths, kids’ toys, and many other items. Mosquitoes can and will use things as small as a bottle cap to lay eggs.

As long as these artificial containers can hold water, mosquitoes are able to breed in them. Unlike ponds, wetlands, retention ponds, and vernal pools, the artificial containers that are in your community are less likely to have predators in them to eat the mosquitoes.

Unlike natural breeding area that will have a variety of predators such as amphibians, birds, fish, bats, other insects, and spiders.

Taking steps to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water is the start of reducing your chances of being bitten by mosquitoes and reducing their populations around you.

Start by taking a look around your home and checking for any containers or places that might accumulate and hold water. After identifying stagnant water in an artificial container, do the best you can to empty or clean that water out so the area where the water was being held can dry.

Items meant to hold water, such as bird baths, can also breed mosquitoes. To prevent this from happening, clean these out every three to five days.

Some other mosquito prevention methods are as simple as altering things that we already do. This includes things like not mowing the yard while the grass is wet to reduce the likelihood of creating tire ruts in the yard. Mowing the yard while the ground is dry reduces chances of creating tire ruts, in which mosquitoes will readily breed.

If your yard has areas that collect and hold water, another thing you can do is to raise the height at which the grass is mowed. Mowing grass low in these areas that are constantly wet is not ideal.

In fact, if you allow the grasses to grow higher in these areas, the grass will hold water in-ground, reducing how much water will lay on the surface.

Another thing that can be done to hold water in the ground in areas of your yard that tend to lay wet is to plant native water loving trees. This includes trees such as: River Birch, Sycamore, and Silver Maples, just to name a few. Not only will the trees utilize the water, but they also help to reduce the amount of water on the surface, as well as providing habitat for birds and other animals.

While you are providing habitat, bat boxes are another great way to incorporate our naturally found species into our own personal pest control.

Tyler Trostle is the mosquito-borne disease control monitor for the Adams County Conservation District. For more information about mosquitoes, contact Stephanie Summers, mosquito-borne disease control coordinator at ssummers@adamscounty.us or visit www.dep.pa.gov/westnile.

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