Mosquito Prevention

Facts About Mosquitoes...

* All mosquitoes MUST have water to complete their life cycle, which is why it is extremely important to drain any standing water from around your property.
* During warm weather, it takes from three to seven days for a mosquito to complete its life cycle (from egg to adult). So in as little as a week, you could be breeding mosquitoes in any stagnant water found around your property.
* Mosquitoes only lay their eggs in or near water; they do not develop in grass or shrubbery even though you see adult flying mosquitoes in these areas during the day. Some mosquitoes lay their eggs above water on soil in anticipation of a spring or summer flood event. Often nuisance mosquitoes are found around pastures where flooding occurs.
* Only the female mosquito bites.
* Some female mosquito species can survive over the winter to lay her eggs in spring. Female mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs at one time - this is called a "brood." Some mosquito species lay multiple broods each summer.
* Mosquitoes are attracted to people from exhaled carbon dioxide, odors and body heat.
* Some mosquitoes live their lives close to their breeding source, but others can fly up to 15 miles in their lifetime.

Mosquito About Myths...

Because of their ubiquitness, there are many misconceptions about mosquitoes some of the more common ones include:
• Bug zappers are effective against mosquitoes - bug zappers do not control mosquitoes and can reduce the populations of beneficial insects.
• Electronic repellers keep mosquitoes away - No they don't; save your money.
• Residential vegetation can produce mosquitoes - They may be resting in the vegetation, but standing water is required to "produce" mosquitoes.
• Bats, owls, and other birds can control mosquitoes - Although they may include mosquitoes in their diet, they do not consume enough mosquitoes to make an appreciable difference in their populations.
• Some mosquitoes can be 2 inches long. - They don't get that big, it was probably a crane fly.
• Mosquitoes nest in vegetation - Mosquitoes do not nest.
• Spraying for adults is the best method of mosquito control - Adulticiding is the least efficient method. Eliminating mosquitoes before they become adults is preferable. Most sprays only work if you hit the insect directly.
• Mosquitoes can transmit AIDS - False
• The Citrosa plant repells mosquitoes - Although citrosa oil (citronella) has been used widely as a mosquito repellent, the undisturbed plant itself does not release these oils and is thus not effective as a repellent.

*Facts & Myths courtsey of Roberts Mosquito Abatement, find more information on their Website

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I eliminate mosquito breeding locations from around my home?

Mosquitoes MUST have standing water to complete their life cycle. Mosquitoes can hatch from eggs in as little as seven days, so it is extremely important to eliminate all stagnant water in areas around your property. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as a couple tablespoons of water, so do your part to remove standing water in discarded tires, abandoned swimming pools, pails, buckets, animal water dishes, bird baths, recreation vehicles and flower pots around your property. Additionally, make sure your watering equipment isn't leaking and pooling water around spigots or automatic sprinkler equipment.

Why do mosquitoes come back over the winter – don’t they die from cold weather?

Mosquito species can live anywhere from two weeks to two months, but adults of certain species can survive over the winter. These are typically the first mosquitoes active in the spring. Other species overwinter as eggs and can be dormant for as many as three years.

How does Jefferson County Mosquito Abatement control for mosquitoes?

Larviciding: Jefferson County strives to control mosquitoes before or immediately after eggs hatch and the mosquito is in the larva stage. Larviciding chemicals are not harmful to fish, animals or other insects, and work to prevent the larvae from growing into flying adults. Larviciding can reduce the overall pesticide usage in our integrated control program (monitoring for mosquitoes, larviciding and adulticiding). Killing mosquito larvae before they emerge as adults reduces or eliminates the need for ground or aerial application of pesticides to kill adult mosquitoes in the event of critical WNv levels.

Adulticiding: Jefferson County Mosquito Abatement District workers set traps throughout the county to trap mosquitoes and test them for the presence of the West Nile virus. When high numbers of mosquitoes are trapped in a location, or in the case West Nile virus is detected in a specific trap, crews are dispatched to the area with ground fogging trucks. The foggers disperse a fine mist of pesticides to kill flying adult mosquitoes to control populations and eliminate those carrying West Nile.

Are the chemicals that Jefferson County Mosquito Abatement uses to larvicide dangerous?

There are two methods used in larviciding, both of which are as environmentally sensitive as possible. The first essentially uses a biological pesticide, BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelenis), a bacteria, to target mosquito larva in infested bodies of water. The bacteria produce protein crystals that stunt the growth of mosquito larvea to prevent the larvae from maturing into flying adults. BTI has selective action; only mosquitoes, black flies and some midges are susceptible to the control agent. Aquatic animals and other insects are unaffected by BTI applications. The second larviciding treatment affects mosquitoes in the pupae and larvae stage. A natural wetting agent applied to the infested body of water actually changes the water's surface film tension so the young mosquitoes cannot get oxygen they need to survive and mature. These larviciding agents do not accumulate in the air, soil or water of a treatment site, nor are they harmful to nontarget insects.