Imperial, Califfffornia (NAPSI) – An important part of maintaining a healthy neighborhood and home for your family and your pets is mosquito control, which is achieved two ways: by public health organizations and careful inspections of standing water by homeowners.
With just one bite, adult mosquitoes may transmit West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis and other viruses that can cause sickness in both people and animals. The bite of mosquitoes may also transmit heartworm disease to dogs and cats. Taking a proactive approach to pest control is a way every community and homeowner can reduce the number of biting, flying and breeding mosquitoes.
Insect growth regulators (IGRs) provide proven mosquito control and a green approach to pesticide. IGRs keep mosquito populations at manageable levels and reduce the need for other chemicals to kill adult mosquitoes.
IGRs “work through a unique ‘biorational’ mechanism that makes them remarkably effective with a wide margin of safety compared to other classes of insecticides,” said Carl Djerassi, Ph.D., founder of Zoëcon, the company that developed IGR technology.
IGRs do not work like a typical pesticide, which kills the current adult population immediately. Instead, they keep immature insects from growing and are specifically targeted for insect species without any effect on mammals, amphibians, birds and other nontarget organisms. That’s why it’s important to apply an IGR before the mosquito breeding season gets into full swing and to reapply it to keep the population under control. IGRs are currently formulated to give public health agencies multiple delivery options depending on their needs for control. Liquids and pellets offer short-term residual for short-term standing water; briquettes can be used in areas that remain wet for up to 150 days. Water-soluble torpedoes containing IGRs are available for homeowners to use in standing water areas such as birdbaths, boat covers and outdoor garden ponds.
In addition to using IGRs, it’s a good idea to find a family-friendly repellent and apply it before enjoying extended time in the yard, especially at dusk and dawn. Also, mosquitoes need a water source in which to lay their eggs, so you should drain any standing water around your home.
The American Mosquito Control Association also offers the following tips:
• Dispose of any tires. Tires can breed thousands of mosquitoes.
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers.
• Clear roof gutters of debris.
• Clean pet water dishes regularly.
• Check and empty children’s toys.
• Repair leaky outdoor faucets.
• Change the water in bird- baths at least once a week.
• Canoes and other boats should be turned over.
• Avoid water collecting on pool covers.
• Empty water collected in tarps around the yard or on woodpiles.
• Plug tree holes.
• Even the smallest of containers (bottles, barrels, buckets, overturned garbage can lids) that can collect water can breed hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes.