What Should we do?
1. Understand – Get informed about mosquitoes and the role you can personally play in helping. Fighting mosquitoes truly takes the involvement of the entire community and each individual can play a role. Container breeding mosquitoes, like the Asian Tiger Mosquito, are public enemy number one. Fighting these mosquitoes is a key area that can be confronted by individual homeowners.
2. Participate - Look, be aware, inspect your property for anything that holds water. Low spots, improper grading, toys, planting pots, tires, plastic wrappers, clogged gutters, anything… and eliminate the water. Homeowners can play a big role in mosquito control by policing their property and eliminating mosquito breeding areas.
3. Protect – If you go outside use repellant and wear protective clothing. If the mosquitoes are active the best way to avoid bites is to stay indoors.
4. Prevent / Treat – SAVE THE POLINATORS... Deny mosquitoes places to breed around your home and use pesticides with caution. Pesticides do have a role in the fight against mosquitoes. However, keep in mind airborne pesticides used against mosquitoes kill all kinds of insects not just mosquitoes. Foggers and Ultra Low Volume sprays only provide temporary relief, they will not solve a mosquito problem by themselves and should be used sparingly as a last resort for a specific reason. (read "The Larger Conversation" below for more info about this)
A homeowner in a high density neighborhood hiring a pest control company to fumigate their property with adulticide every three to four weeks, during working hours (while pollinators are most active) is unnecessarily contaminating the environment and is not solving the problem.
Most homeowners have some kind of ornamental flowering plants in their landscape. Pollinating insects traveling from flower to flower are at risk from air borne adulticide treatments. A few dozen homeowners in a neighborhood randomly or periodically spraying for adult mosquitoes are not going to solve a mosquito problem and unfortunately, more often than not, there is more harm done to beneficial insects like honey bees and butterflies. Adulticide mosquito treatments should be used rarely as a last resort for temporary relief and applied only in the evening after pollinating insects are not active.
There is a difference in how adulticide treatments affect homes in high density neighborhoods and homes on acreage. High density neighborhoods benefit more from well managed adulticide treatments coordinated by their municipality. Whereas homes on wooded acreage may benefit from well managed individual adulticide treatments because they are not connected with a municipality capable of serving them and there is less chance of chemical drift into their neighbor’s property. Adulticide treatment have their place as long as they are appropriately deployed.
Our position is that adulticide treatments should never be done around flowering plants or during the day while pollinating insects are active.
In high density housing neighborhoods individual adulticide treatments should be done rarely as temporary relief for a specific reason.
If adulticide treatments are needed to knock back a large adult population then they should be done for the entire community in the evening after pollinators are no longer active.
The main focus of a mosquito control effort should be on denying mosquitoes their breeding environments. Education and outreach at the family level along with the larger effort on the municipal level can achieve better results.