OKLA. CITY —
You’ve had a tiring day and you want to go out on your back patio and enjoy a glass of iced tea and your garden.
Then you hear it.
Have you ever been driven inside by a mosquito buzzing around your head? How irritating. Mosquitos can make life miserable. Many recreational and work activities have been ruined by the constant annoyance and irritation caused by their bites. Also, some species can transmit serious diseases. What can we do to control mosquitos?
Attention to some maintenance details around the yard this spring can help prevent heavy mosquito populations. Anything that holds water can potentially be a mosquito breeding site. A neglected bird bath, swimming pool, clogged rain gutters, puddles, ditches, containers, trash cans, pet dishes, even a flat-roofed house have the potential for mosquito breeding.
All mosquitos pass through four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The number of days from egg to adult varies with species and temperature. Under ideal conditions, some mosquitos can complete their cycle of development from egg to adult in less than a week.
One way to protect yourself from mosquito bites would be to stay inside. That solution is not always possible or preferable. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants help, but mosquito bites still occur through thin clothing and exposed skin. Topically applied mosquito repellents will help prevent bites. The most effective mosquito repellents contain the active ingredient diethyl toluamide (DEET). The higher the percentage of DEET in the product, the longer the protection lasts. Young children should use low percentage formulations.
Screened porches would do the trick. Also, mosquito populations can be reduced by the removal of tall weeds, and overgrowth. To further reduce biting, mosquito insecticides can be applied to the lower limbs of shade trees, shrubs and other shaded areas. Pyrethroid insecticides are effective but will need to be reapplied periodically. A hose-end sprayer is usually most effective and convenient. Bayer Advanced Power Force Mosquito Killer comes ready to use and connects to a garden hose. Ortho Mosquito B Gone and Spectracide Mosquito Stop is a concentrate and will also connect to a garden hose.