Click here to view our infographic about mitigating mosquitos.

Ah, summertime in Florida. Backyard barbecues. Long days at the beach. And endless...mosquito bites.
 
Yes, it’s that time again, when the mosquito horde ramps things up to create extra discomfort and annoyance for us all. But during years of heavy rains – like the one we’ve had so far – the clouds of mosquitoes become full-on storm fronts, carrying with them dangerous diseases like West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever and St. Louis Encephalitis, just to name a few.
 
But there is something you can do for your community (and no, the answer isn’t to move out of the state). The best community association management company can help you implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce these tiny flying vampires. But in the meantime, here are some steps you can take to deal with mosquitoes in your community – and get the most out of summer.

Get them early.

Mosquitoes breed in standing pools of water. Search your community for these types of areas and eliminate them. Don’t settle for searching out obvious puddles and pools – also pay attention to neglected birdbaths, clogged rain gutters, and even soil depressions under visible tree roots. Buckets, wheelbarrows and flowerpot bottoms are also offenders. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to how your lawns are irrigated. If the water isn’t soaking in or draining freely after the sprinklers turn off, you could end up with standing pools that are a haven for breeding biters. If eliminating the standing water isn’t an option, treat the area with a larvicide pellet.

Secure the perimeter.

There’s no way to keep adult mosquitoes away completely, unless you build a dome over your community. If a dome is beyond your budget, then consider creating a perimeter using backpack mosquito machines. These devices are effective at spraying insecticides in the places adult mosquitoes use to rest during the day. You can also reduce these pests by eliminating overgrowth and dense weeds and maintaining clean landscaping – this will give them no place to perch until their next attack.

Zap and trap.

You can find a broad range of flying insect lights and traps on the market. Some of these use special lighting wavelengths to trap and kill pests. Others use other forms of attractants, luring the mosquito into a container where it can’t escape. While these devices usually aren’t a complete solution on their own, they can be a viable complement to the other pest reduction strategies you’re using.

Protect yourself.

Let’s say you’ve eliminated larvae. You’ve secured your perimeter. You’ve set up a series of lights and traps. Well, there’s one last line of defense: yourself. If you’re going to be outdoors, avoid activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are at their most active (those times of day are sort of a feeding frenzy for them). You can also wear long-sleeved, light-colored clothing and douse yourself with the insect repellant of your choice. And to keep your home pest-free, check the screens on windows and doors to make sure they’re in good repair.

Mosquitoes have been around for nearly 30 million years, so it’s not likely we’ll be able to eliminate them anytime soon. But with this collection of strategies, you should be able to keep your summertime from being their dinnertime. To find out more about pest control strategies for your community, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s leading community association management company.
 
Friday July 25, 2014