Homeowners can reduce mosquito breeding around their house by removing any water holding items and cleaning clogged ditches because of the temporary nature and small size of many mosquito habitats, they often can be altered to prevent mosquito production. However, there are laws and policies regulating alterations of wetlands, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources must be consulted before these activities take place. Landscape planners should consider carefully the kinds of mosquito habitats they may be creating when wetlands are integrated into landscape or neighborhood designs. However, it is entirely possible to reduce larval mosquito sources and at the same time preserve wetlands and other desirable habitats.
We can work together.
Mosquitoes develop in any water that stands for 5 or more days. Removing standing water eliminates possible places for them to develop.
- Dispose of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, or any water-holding containers.
- Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts, etc.) in yard.
- Keep drains, ditches and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water will drain properly.
- Keep eave troughs clean of leaves and other debris.
- Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater, and screen rain barrels.
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
- Empty plastic wading pool at least once a week and store it indoors when not in use.
- Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete.
- Change the water in birdbaths and plant drip trays at least once each week.
- Store boats/canoes covered or upside down or remove rainwater weekly.
- Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide there.
How to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Midland County Mosquito Control conducts an integrated program of larviciding and adulticiding with state-of-the-art equipment and materials. Despite our best efforts, mosquito populations can only be reduced, never eliminated. Learn to protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Avoid places and times when mosquitoes bite.
- Wear protective clothing - tightly woven materials that cover arms and legs provide some protection from mosquito bites.
- Have good screening - make sure door and window screens fit tight and holes are repaired.
- Use mosquito netting - when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure and to protect small babies any time.
- Use mosquito repellents - apply repellents to exposed skin: hands, arms, legs, neck, face, and to clothing which fits tight to the skin.
- Use insecticides if necessary - insecticide fogs or mists are good only for a short duration in the immediate area of application.
Bats and swallows are often cited in the press as means for controlling mosquitoes. However, scientific studies do not support the claims that bats, swallows, purple martins, dragonflies, or other aerial predators are an effective control method. Actually, birds and bats do not include many mosquitoes in their diets. The idea that they eat thousands of mosquitoes per night comes from statements in the natural history literature indicating that they would have to eat this many to survive.
Bug zappers & mosquito plants
Outdoor electronic bug zappers do not control mosquitoes. So-called "mosquito plants" do not effectively repel mosquitoes, and are not recommended for this purpose. Other devices such as those advertised to repel mosquitoes by high frequency sound do not actually repel mosquitoes.