by Patrick Linn, MS, MSHAPI
Executive Director, Collier Mosquito Control District
Just as sure as the summer rains will return, so too, will the buzzing mosquitoes. For residents who live within the 401-square-mile boundaries of the Collier Mosquito Control District, mosquito control services help to keep those mosquito populations low and the threat of mosquito-borne disease minimized.
But did you know that residents can significantly reduce mosquito populations, in some cases more effectively than the District can? As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” which is why I’m letting the illustration here demonstrate what actions you can take when those summer rains return.
Survey your property for any of the places where water can accumulate and stagnate. Those areas provide the perfect spot for female mosquitoes to deposit their eggs. Within seven days, those eggs become flying troublesome mosquitoes. That’s why we
recommend that containers be covered and those with standing water be emptied every five to seven days.
Do you have an area in your yard that fills with “undumpable” standing water? Contact us about getting some free mosquitofish
to place there. Each little fish can eat about 100 mosquito larvae daily. They won’t completely eradicate the problem, but they sure do help.
And if the mosquitoes do become a bother, remember to follow the 5 Ds:
• DRAIN– empty standing water from any container on your property
• DEFEND– when used as directed, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends repellents containing any of these active ingredients for humans over 6 months of age:
Oil of lemon eucalyptus
• DUSK & DAWN– avoid outdoor activities during these times when mosquitoes are most actively flying and feeding
• DRESS– cover exposed skin (when reasonable) to block mosquitoes’ access to your skin.
Want to know more about the science behind mosquito control? Looking for someone to speak to your group’s next meeting? Visit the District’s website at cmcd.org or call 239.436.1000.