Record-breaking heat continues to scald California, leading many of us to water our landscapes and gardens more. While the water is good for plants and helps us cool down, even the smallest amount of standing water mixed with high temperatures create an ideal climate for mosquito breeding. Use the following tips to help reduce mosquito habitats and protect yourself from being bitten.
Tip #1: Mosquitoes need water for the larval stage of their life cycle. Eliminate breeding sites in your yard by:
- Draining any containers that hold standing water; even something as small as a flower pot saucer can harbor mosquitoes.
- Emptying out bird baths once per week.
- Protecting ponds by using mosquito-eating fish, or adding a biopesticide product that contains Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti).
- Avoiding excessive irrigation and other practices that can cause standing water.
Watch the following video for more information.
Tip #2: Protect yourself from mosquito bites when outdoors. Make sure you:
- Minimize the amount of exposed skin by wearing a hat and clothing that covers arms and legs.
- Use U.S. EPA-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Follow product label instructions when using a repellent.
- Apply sunscreen first before using an insect repellent.
- Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
- Reapply repellent after effectiveness wears off, according to the label.
Watch this video to learn more.
Read the UC IPM Pest Notes: Mosquitoes for more details on managing mosquitoes.