Blackwelder column: Get rid of standing water to cut down on mosquitoes
SALISBURY — Warmer temperatures and heavy rains will lead to increased mosquito activity over the next week according to Dr. Mike Waldvogal, Extension entomologist with N.C. State University. Before people start planning their insecticidal sprays on these biting menaces, they can reduce their populations considerably simply by reducing their areas of breeding.
The Asian tiger mosquito is the most common pest which takes advantage of water-filled objects as breeding sites. Now is an opportune time to correct problems before you start hearing that familiar buzz of mosquitoes in your ear when you’re sitting outdoors in the evening. Below are a few remedies that will help reduce mosquito populations:
• Empty or (preferably) get rid of those objects that collect water — old cans, tires and trash cans missing their lids.
• Put fresh water in bird baths and pet water bowls.
• Remove debris from your gutters and make sure water runs freely through them. And make sure rainwater doesn’t just splash and pool at the end of the downspout. Make sure it drains out into your yard.
• Drainage ditches on your property are the perfect breeding areas for mosquitoes. Clear those of debris and vegetation so that they don’t impound water and let it stagnate.
• If you’re going to collect rainwater to save for watering your gardens, make sure you have a screen over the top to keep out debris and mosquitoes that are hunting for a good place to lay eggs.
• Pass along these suggestions to your neighbors as well because mosquito control takes a community effort to truly succeed.
You can find these details and more information about mosquito control on the N.C. State University website: http://insects.ncsu.edu/Urban/mosquito.htm
Darrell Blackwelder is Rowan County’s Extension Director. Call 704-216-8970.