Mosquito elimination efforts have traditionally been focused on killing adult mosquitos with pesticides. This approach remains common, but there is a trend toward mosquito elimination methods that work by killing mosquitos before they become adults—or by preventing them from infesting an area at all.
You can stop a mosquito problem before it ever begins by eliminating their access to standing water, which most mosquitos need to reproduce. This is known as “source reduction,” and at a societal level it frequently involves digging shallow ditches in marshes to keep the water flowing and to connect the marsh to a pond or canal so that the water can drain, taking the mosquitoes with it, while also letting in fish who feed on mosquito larvae. But source reduction can be practiced by individual homeowners, as well. Just follow these simple steps:
- Get rid of, or store away, any unused pools, buckets, birdbaths and other outdoor containers that hold water
- Clean your gutters regularly
- Repair leaks around faucets
- Fill in or drain any areas of your yard—such as around old tree stumps—where water routinely stands.
The best way to prevent mosquito problems is to make the area around your home an undesirable place for them to live and reproduce.
Insect Growth Regulators
If you already have a problem, killing the adults with “adulticide” pesticides is part of the solution—but not all of it. Insect growth regulators (IGRs) are an increasingly popular mosquito elimination method that, in conjunction with adulticides, can completely free your environment from mosquitos.
IGRs work by disrupting the molting cycle of mosquitoes—either by forcing them to prematurely molt or by causing their new exoskeletons to form improperly. IGRs can also cause sterilization of eggs and disrupt the diapause process, which is how insects become dormant before winter.
Because IGRs don’t immediately kill insects like adulticides do, their effectiveness isn’t as dramatically apparent. But trying to control a mosquito infestation without using IGRs often means the problem will return. Consult with an experienced pest-control specialist to determine if IGRs are needed for your situation.