The best approach to controlling mosquitoes takes advantage of every life stage of a mosquito. This approach is known as an Integrated Pest Management approach (IPM). IPM employs a variety of different pest management techniques with an emphasis on pest prevention, pest reduction, and the elimination of habitats that can lead to pest infestations. A successful IPM strategy is made up of 4 different strategies:
- Removal Of Habitats. Mosquitoes require a water habitat for 2 stages of their life cycle. Elimination of water leaves them with nowhere to breed. Get rid of any standing water in gutters, buckets, toys, old tires, tarps, and any other container in and around your home. Consider installing gutter guards to prevent standing water in your gutter systems. Empty and change out the water in your fountains, bird baths, rain barrels, wading pools, and potted plants at least once a week. This will get rid of any eggs that may have been laid in the water since emptying it the week before. Make sure to keep your swimming pools treated and circulating.
- Use Structural Barriers. Using structural barriers decreases the incidence of mosquito bites. Install screens on your windows and doors and make sure they are in good repair. Make sure the edges are sealed. Cover any gaps in walls, doors, and windows.
- Control Adult Mosquitoes. This is the best and fastest method to prevent diseases transmitted by adult mosquitoes. Adult mosquito control uses an EPA-registered pesticide and is applied by aircraft or on the ground by truck-mounted sprayers.
- Control Larval Mosquitoes. Controlling mosquitoes in the larval stage allows them to be eliminated before they emerge as adult mosquitoes. This involves a method called source reduction (also known as physical or permanent mosquito control). Source reduction is the removal or permanent destruction of mosquito breeding sites. The goal of source reduction is to minimize larval mosquito production through habitat destruction. It can minimize or completely eliminate the need for multiple applications of both larvacides and adulticides. Source reduction can be as simple as properly disposing of containers that can hold water or as complex as draining swamps or installing ditches. Some methods of source reduction you can do at home include disposing of, covering, or tipping over any containers that can hold water such as flowerpots, cans, and old tires. Source reduction for freshwater lakes and ponds include periodic drainage, minimizing emergent or standing vegetation, and maintaining steep banks. Source reduction for swamps and marshes is difficult because of severe restrictions in environmental law.
If you suspect you have a problem with mosquitoes in or around your home, contact a professional pest control company who can provide you with a thorough inspection and comprehensive treatment plan.