Don’t let mosquitos bug you!

Pima County Health Department provides simple guidelines that individuals can take to minimize mosquito breeding on their property and minimize mosquito borne illnesses such as encephalitis caused by West Nile virus.

1. Dispose of old tires, buckets, aluminum cans, plastic sheeting or other refuse that can hold water. Empty accumulated water from trash cans, boats, wheel barrows, pet dishes, and flower pot bottoms. If possible, turn these items over when they are not in use. Drill holes in tire swings to allow water to drain.

2. Clean debris from rain gutters and unclog obstructed downspouts. Clogged rain gutters are one of the most overlooked breeding sites for mosquitoes around homes. Remove any standing water on flat roofs or around structures. Repair leaking faucets and air conditioners that produce puddles for several days.

3. Change water in bird baths and wading pools at least once a week and keep swimming pools cleaned and chlorinated. Ornamental pools can be aerated or stocked with mosquito-eating fish. Aeration / water movement helps because mosquitoes prefer quiet, nonflowing water for egg-laying and development.

4. Fill or drain ditches, swampy areas, and other soil depressions where water puddles and remove, drain, or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar or sealant to prevent accumulation of water.  Eliminate standing water and seepage around animal watering troughs, cisterns, and septic tanks. Be sure that cistern screens are intact and that access covers fit tightly.

5. Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.
Use of a mosquito larvicide may be beneficial when it is impractical to eliminate a breeding site. Larvicides are insecticides which are used to control immature mosquitoes
before they have a chance to develop into biting adults. Larvicides contain Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) or Methoprene. Neither are harmful to pets, fish, waterfowl or humans when used properly. Various products containing Bti are available to homeowners
(e.g. Mosquito Dunks or Quick Kill Mosquito Granules). Typically, one donut-shaped Mosquito Dunk is recommended per 100 square feet of water surface.

For more information visit http://www.ci.tucson.az.us/water/mosquito.htm.

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