C J Oakes, Ed

So, we made it through Christmas again this year without snow. Too, we made it through without cold. The one thing we did not make it through Christmas without were mosquito’s.

Now, let me be the first to tell you that I am an outsider. I am from Louisiana by way of Lubbock. I moved to West Texas for a few good reasons, the presumed lack of those tiny, blood-sucking vermin we call mosquito’s.

However, my first year in Lubbock I did happen upon a single mosquito. It bit me, I got West Nile. Forty+ years in the swamplands of this mighty nation and I had to move to West Texas to get the worst mosquito bite of my life.

In any case, while I soon discovered there ARE mosquitos in Lubbock, there ain’t that many – NOT like Brownfield.

Brownfield, Texas…Mosquito Capital of West Texas

Now, I have lived in all parts of Texas and although the southeastern part of the state has us beat in numbers, the mosquito’s of West Texas hit you like an angry bronc after a fresh branding.

And even in South Louisiana, one can expect the mosquito’s to sleep in until spring. Not here. Left my front door in shorts and shirt the other day and within seconds, a few nice blood-suckers reminded me that I am not in Louisiana anymore. Vampires here mean business.

To be clear, Brownfield is now my permanent home, which means I refuse to retreat. So, I started refreshing myself on how to beat the bugs. It then occurred to me that I should share what I learned about mosquito control. They are, after all, still out.

Following is an article from Texas A&M Agri-Life.

“Mosquito Control at Home and in the Yard

“All animals, including mosquitoes, need three things to survive – food, water and shelter. If we eliminate one of the three, mosquitoes cannot survive.

“Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Home and Yard:

  • Repair window and door screens
  • Eliminate mosquito shelters in your yard
  • Mow grass and tall weeds
  • Cut back shrubs and vines
  • Treat in shaded areas with a professional pest control application or DIY spray treatment
  • Remove tires and junk

“Dump, Drain or Change Water:

  • Dump or drain water to eliminate egg laying sites.
  • Change water regularly in a dog dish, bird bath or plant pot to eliminate nutrients.
  • Eliminate any place where water can collect and be retained for 7-10 days, especially when there is organic matter present, such as soil or leaves.

“Additional Mosquito Breeding Sites Include:

  • Toys
  • Swings
  • Buckets and containers
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Bird baths
  • Flower pots
  • Poorly draining gutters
  • Sagging tarps
  • Plastic pools
  • Tree holes
  • Cesspool or septic tank
  • Untreated and non-functioning swimming pools
  • Tires
  • Cisterns or rain barrels
  • Low ditches or parts of the yard
  • Stagnant ponds

“When Water Can’t be Dumped or Drained:

  • Use a larvicide for homeowners such as Mosquito DunksⓇ or the Mosquito TorpedoⓇ that are based on Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis (Bti), a bacterium that produces proteins that are toxic for certain fly larvae.
  • These products have little effect on the environment and lower impact than adulticides.
  • They are also safe for non-target insects and mammals.
  • They are usually effective for up to 30 days.
  • The labels describe how these products should be used and how long each product lasts.

“Backyard Foggers:

  • Use a fogger for temporary relief from biting mosquitoes for a couple of hours or more.
  • Direct toward shady areas and plants where mosquitoes rest and hide during the day.
  • Thermal foggers use heat, usually from a propane flame, to create a thick white fog that can kill many resting mosquitoes.
  • Aerosol foggers usually empty more quickly and are more costly than thermal foggers.
  • Thermal foggers produce a highly visible smoke that can alarm neighbors.
  • Both types of foggers may harm beneficial insects, such as bees, butterflies, and predator insects.
  • Do not use them near plants where bees are active, and follow the label instructions carefully.”

Original Article Published at https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/browse/mosquito-control/home-yard/