The water conservation minded, dutifully collecting rain water and other runoff water to use in their gardens and landscapes, are finding mosquitoes in and around their collection barrels and buckets.
Standing water in storage containers is a perfect breeding place for mosquitoes. Don’t panic, there are several simple but effective things you can do to keep these pesky, biting insects out of the water and away from collection receptacles, small ponds, bird baths and anywhere else that water accumulates.
Barrel covers, mosquito eating fish, insecticidal tablets (containing BT, bacillus thuringiensis), efficient pumps and drainage systems, are all effective solutions for controlling mosquito populations. An even simpler and still safe and effective solution, is adding a small amount of vegetable oil to the water. A light oil slick makes it impossible for mosquito larvae to live in the water. It has also been suggested that natural essential oils can be used in place of vegetable oil. The success and safety of using essential oils hasn’t been completely verified but if you’ve tried it, let us know how it’s worked for you.
Like the idea of using free mosquito eating fish? County agricultural and vector control departments will provide the fish free of charge. Check out the following links:
San Diego County http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/deh/pests/wnv/services/chd_wnv_mosquito_fish_locations.html
Los Angeles County
San Bernardino County
How the drought affects insects and pest control
Current drought conditions are the most severe in approximately 1,200 years, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 40% of California is in the “exceptional” drought category, which is up 23% from a year ago.
Flying and crawling insects, dependent on ever decreasing plant life, in fields, canyons and forests, are migrating to residential areas, back yards and public landscapes, in search of flowers, plants and water.
In urban areas, where water conservation is in force, many insects, including ants are heading indoors to find sufficient water to support their survival.
In anticipation of the increase in insect migration caused by the drought, we have changed our treatment programs to more effectively target invading insects.
Have you seen more pest activity in your yard lately? Are you finding insects inside your home, that haven’t been there before? Are insects getting out of control?
Blame it on the drought!
1. The Mosquito with 755,000 causal deaths per year.
2. Snails with 200,000
3. Snakes with 94,000