May 19, 2011

Its that time of year again, MOSQUITO SEASON!  The Skamania County Mosquito Control District is in need of your help, we are experiencing some of the HIGHEST water levels in the past 12 years, which of course relates to numerous areas with mosquito larva.  Mosquito larva can lay dormant for up to 20 years and just needs the right water conditions to activate it.  We now have “the right conditions”.  We are asking everyone in the county and especially within the District to PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO YOUR OWN BACK YARDS.  The flower pots, water fixtures, buckets, traps, cans, etc MUST BE EMPTIED AND  disposed of if possible to reduce mosquito larva.  PLEASE, PLEASE do a walk around your home and yards and look for any possible breeding sites that YOU CAN CONTROL in your own environment.  If you have a large problem area and you are within the District boundaries, call or email us to come and assess the area.

Remember, standing water means mosquitoes. Any standing, stagnant water that remains for 7 to 10 days after a rain can, and usually will, produce mosquitoes. For example, one coffee can full of water has been shown to produce in excess of 10,000 mosquitoes over an entire summer season.  We have listed below several ways to help:

  • Empty all water holding containers in your yard on a regular basis, at least once a week, children’s wading pools, rain barrels, buckets, bird baths and stored boats are prime examples of mosquito breeding sites.
  • Over-watering and poor irrigation practices are common producers of mosquitoes around the home, in parks and on golf courses. Report standing water to appropriate maintenance personnel.
  • Clean out eaves troughs and down spouts of leaves and other debris that slows drainage.
  • Ditches must be kept free of vegetation and other debris to promote rapid drainage, and pond edges should be kept clean of cattails and other aquatic vegetation. This is where mosquito larvae develop and mature. To reduce the number of adult mosquitoes in your yard:
  • Keep your lawn mowed as short as is practical.
  • Keep all ornamental shrubs and bushes trimmed and pruned to open them up to light and air flow. This will not only give mosquitoes one less place to hide, but will promote growth and vigor in the plant.
  • Cut back as far as possible, all low, dense under-growth surrounding your yard. This is where mosquitoes go to hide during the day.
  • Have large trees trimmed to allow sunlight to penetrate dark, damp areas.
  • Plan outdoor activities and parties during daylight hours or later in the evening. Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and for about an hour after dusk.
  • Tires, birdbaths, flower pots, rain barrels, children’s toys, abandoned pools, tarps, and boats can all breed mosquitoes if they are holding water. It is important to empty these items every 7-10 days in the summer