Close up of a Mosquito pupae in later stages of developement
Close up of a Mosquito pupae in later stages of development.
This article sets out to explain the various steps you can take in order to rid your home or outdoor area of mosquitoes. The trick to mosquito control is to break their life cycle.
Mosquitoes have a relatively short life cycle (between 7 and 14 days depending on temperature and humidity) which means the success of their breeding cycle is highly susceptible to small changes in their environment.
Central to all mosquitoes breeding cycle is water.
The female mosquito lays her eggs in stagnant water.
Water is also a nursery for mosquito larvae which emerge from the water as winged mosquitoes about half way through their life cycle.
Try to minimise areas of stagnant water. A pond like this can produce thousands of Mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes require stagnant water
in order to lay their eggs and for larvae / pupae to develop. The removal of stagnant water from your outdoor environment can have a measurable impact on mosquito populations. Try to remove any source of stagnant water including: Piles of water catching tree leaves, Pot Plant Water Trays, Wheel Barrows, Shovels, Kids Play Pools and Other Toys, Gutters, Plastic and rubbish.
During hotter parts of the day, mosquitoes tend to rest in shaded areas or long grass. Keeping grass short, especially in shady areas can help make your back yard less attractive to Mosquitoes.
Prevent a build-up of leaves from under bushy trees by regularly clearing away fallen material.
Dead leaves and long grass provide excellent refuge for mosquitoes during the day. Keep your grass short, especially in dark areas and rake and dispose of dead leaves.
Piles of leaves are not only a great breeding ground for mosquitoes, but also offer a damp refuge from the hot sun for adult Mozzies.
Mosquitoes and their larvae are a great source of food for frogs and fish. If you have a pond, try to introduce water plants to make the pond more attractive to mosquito killing amphibians like frogs.
Avoid using or installing gas barbecues or gas heaters up wind of your entertaining or outdoor areas. Not only are they a place where water can accumulate, the CO2 they give off when burning is like a homing radar for hungry female mosquitoes.
Mosquito Traps / Catchers / Bug Zappers
Bug zappers can be an entertaining way to control the flying insects in your yard however they are relatively in effective in reducing the numbers of mosquitoes in your back yard. Bug Zappers do little to break the breeding cycle and quite often do more damage to other harmless flying insects than they do to Mozzies. There are many Mosquito catchers available which work by targeting the female (biting and egg laying) mosquitoes. Removing females from the mosquito population can result in a very quick drop in overall mosquito populations. Some Mosquito Traps are capable of capturing 1000's of mosquitoes per night.
The Jamun or Neen Tree is a great way to repel mosquitoes. Although hard to find, they are available from specialist plant nurseries in Australia and most western countries.
They tend to use a variety of attractants such as Octenol and CO2 Gas. Some Mosquito traps such as the "Mosquito Slayer" contain up to 10 attractants and kill a variety of biting insects such as Mosquitoes, Midges and Sand flies. It is important though to take care when placing Mosquito Traps such as the Mosquito Slayer. Mosquito traps should always be placed away from entertaining areas as they work by attracting biting insects.
Planting certain trees such as "Jamun Tree" (also known as "Neem Tree") can provide a natural repellent. Other well known natural repellents include Citronella, Eucalyptus Oil, Tee Tree Oil and Sandalwood although there is little evidence that planting trees which produce these oils actually repel mosquitoes. Find more information here @ Jenkins Pest Control