This article is the third in a series of posts about moisture, mold and water-loving insects. The premise – where there is excess moisture or water, there is sure to be mold. Sometimes mold is difficult to see since it hides inside and behind many objects. Dangerous mosquitoes love water. Therefore, you are likely to find mold where ever they live and breed. Eliminating excess and standing water in your yard is the most effective way of controlling mold, as well as preventing painful and dangerous mosquito bites.
Note: Also read Part 1 – Certain Insects Are a Sign of Excess Moisture in your Home and Part 2 – Insects in your Basement May be a Sign of Water Damage
There are over 200 different species of mosquitoes in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Typically, mosquito activity starts when overnight temperatures stay above 50 degrees. Not all mosquitoes carry diseases, but several species can transmit potentially dangerous diseases .
The nectar from plants is the primary food for male and female mosquitoes. However, female mosquitoes must feed on blood to produce fertile eggs. In fact, a female requires one blood meal for every batch of eggs she lays. Female mosquitoes only need to encounter a male mosquito once to mate. They can then produce eggs up to five times in a summer from that single encounter. They lay their eggs in standing water.
When mosquitoes bite humans, they are attracted to warmth, perspiration, body order and carbon dioxide.
Diseases Caused by Mosquitoes
According to the EPA, mosquitoes in the United States can carry serious diseases such as:
- Dengue fever, a viral disease marked by fever and pains in the joints
- Encephalitis, an infection or allergy that can make the brain swell
- West Nile virus a virus causing encephalitis and flu-like symptoms
- Zika virus
Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Locations
There may be a number of possible breeding locations in your yard. All it takes is a small amount of stagnant water for a female to lay her eggs. You can reduce the number of possible breeding grounds within you property by eliminating standing water.
Best Way to Control Mosquitoes
The techniques that work best have one thing in common: they make your home and yard inhospitable to pests.
- Gutters – repair and unclogged gutters and down spouts so they quickly eliminate the water
- Planters, pots and bird baths – change or dump out water frequently to prevent standing water
- Kids toys – flip over when not in use
- Pools and fountains – properly chlorinate and filter
- Old tires – throw them out. If using for a swing, drill a hole in the bottom
- Open trash cans or buckets – secure lids or turn upside down when not in use
- Ponds – use a natural larvicide that kills only mosquito larvae
- Toss unnecessary items and junk
- Mow the lawn often – treat your lawn with insecticides as the last resort (use sparingly)
Four Commandments to Containing and Eliminating Mosquitoes
1. Contain and eliminate the source of the moisture (leaks).
2. Eliminate the pests though natural or chemical means.
3. Keep your outside property free of standing water that provides breeding areas.
4. Keep the inside of your property dust free, clutter free, and maintain low humidity.
Written by Carolyn Willbanks, Mold-Help.org