- Author: Brenda Altman
Oh, wow another sunny day. Let's hope we have plenty of water for the growing season. The recent deluge of water is terrific but how do we guarantee we will have water later in the year? We can't unless we store it. California stores water in its reservoirs. Home owners can store excess water in storage tanks. I have storage ranks at my house and can store up to 800 gallons of water. In a drought though that water gets used up pretty quick. Right now, I have all my tanks full thanks to those never-ending atmospheric rivers. I even have some standing water in 5-gallon containers.
Standing water can breed mosquitoes! According to the Environmental Protection Agency most mosquitoes can survive at 50 degrees F to 95 degrees F. At 50 F the female can still be active and lay her eggs. Only the female bites, the blood is part of a 4 stage lifecycle. As the weather warms the mosquitoes become active. The ideal temperature is 80 F where it takes a few weeks to go from eggs to adult mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes need only a few puddles of standing water to lay and hatch eggs. Identify places where water may collet like clogged gutters; old tires laying around; buckets; planters with no drain holes; plastic sheeting around the yard and bird baths. Right now the weather is cool enough that the mosquitoes will probably not be a problem, however; the eggs can survive cool weather and hatch when it warms up. Some Mosquitoes can survive cold temperatures. According to the Solano County Mosquito Abatement District, during the winter months 3 species of mosquitoes can survive in the southern portion of San Pablo Bay.
Eliminate all standing water. Empty those containers or make holes in containers so water will drain. Some storage tanks which have a mesh to prevent mosquitoes from landing rarely need to be drained or abated with biological controls.
205 gallon water container with a wire mesh prevents mosquitoes from laying their eggs.
If you want to keep water for bird baths, fish ponds, and future use, there's a biological solution to kill mosquito larva in standing open water it's called Bacillus thuringensis, subspecies israelensis , a registered Environmental Protection Agency insecticide.
BTi. comesprepackaged in tablets, pellets, granules, liquid or in solid cakes also called Mosquito Dunks. Bti is a bacteria which will kill the mosquito larva. It is good for 30 days. As with any biological pesticide follow the directions storing and using the product. If use properly it will not harm birds, fish, horses, or other animals. Another biological control are mosquito fish, contact theSolano County Mosquito Abatement District on where and when to get them.
Mosquito control is important because mosquitoes can spread disease to humans and animals. Climate Change increases the summer temperatures resulting in diseases such as West Nile Fever to be present. Previously, cooler summer temperatures kept the virus away. Besides mosquitoes, stay away from dead birds as these are also a vector for the disease.
Mosquitoes besides being a pest and potential disease vector to humans can also harm our furry dog friends The Solano County Mosquito Abatement District reports that: “Of the 23 species of mosquitoes within Solano County 12 are either disease vectors or pests. Mosquito species Aedes sierrensis found in the wooded hillsides is the prime vector for canine heartworm in Solano County.”
Enjoy the rain, store water safely and do your part to control mosquitoes.
The Solano County Mosquito Abatement District
Mosquito life cycle Aedes aegypti: www.cdc.gov/aedesaegypti
Summit Mosquito Dunks: www.summitchemical.com
Center for Disease Control https:www.cdc.gov/mosquitoes