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Controlling Mosquitoes at Home
Residents can reduce mosquito numbers in their home and neighborhood by removing breeding sources around their homes. Water-holding containers such as bird baths, pet water dishes, plant saucers, children's pools, boats, and junk such as old tires and discarded appliances are ideal breeding spots.
Traveling abroad? Check the Centers for Disease Control for any mosquito alerts and travel advisories.
Tips to reduce mosquito presence
Repair screening on windows, doors, porches and patios
Keep gutters clear so they will drain properly
Check and empty:
Untreated swimming pools
Uncovered boats/watercrafts that are not draining water
Trash cans and lids
Change water in birdbaths and flush bromeliads once or twice a week
Stock untreated and decorative pools with mosquito fish
Do not allow water to accumulate at the base of flower pots or in pet dishes for more than two days
Check around faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or puddles that remain for several days
Remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar
Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days
Cut down weeds adjacent to home and in yards, and mow the lawn regularly
Mosquito repellents and avoiding contact with them
DEET is the most effective mosquito repellent. The 20-30% concentration works well for most people. Use according to label directions, and do not apply to infants.
Miami-Dade residents can help reduce the nuisance caused by mosquitoes by remembering the "five Ds:"
- Dusk and Dawn — avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.
- Dress — wear long, loose, light-colored clothing that covers the skin.
- DEET — use mosquito repellants that contain DEET
- Drainage — eliminate standing water around the home in places such as buckets, cans, old tires and plant containers.
Bug zappers kill many kinds of insects, including moths and beetles. Mosquitoes make up a very small percentage of the insects that are killed by bug zappers. Bug zappers do more harm than good.
How mosquitoes breed
Mosquitoes must have water to develop. The eggs are laid on water, or moist soil that may flood. Upon hatching, they go through several stages of development, and emerge as adult mosquitoes in about one week.
Female mosquitoes mate with male mosquitoes and fly off in search of a blood meal. They lay eggs a few days later, and the cycle begins again.
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