The Next Misery

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As floodwaters recede in many areas of the Midwest, the next wave of misery arrives: mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes annoy inside and out. Celebrating National Mosquito Control Awareness Week can be as simple as changing the water in your birdbath. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, even something as unlikely as a toy dump truck filled with rain from a week ago.

Anything that holds rain water should be turned over or thrown out, such as old tires, unused buckets and trash cans.

Pot saucers on the deck are another potential breeding site; it doesn't take much water for mosquitoes to breed. And don't neglect the gutters; clogged downspouts create wonderful reservoirs for mosquitoes.

If you are among a growing number of homeowners with rain barrels, standing water provides another welcoming breeding ground. Use a natural biological control called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis; it comes in products such as Mosquito Dunks that kill mosquito larvae before adults hatch.

I can confirm that the mosquitoes are horrendous in my area. It has to be even worse in those areas that really flooded out this year. Here are a few pointers for homeowners on how to deal with mosquitoes. It's a really good idea to do whatever you can to help control the little pests. West Nile virus is in many areas of the country and is nothing to sneer at.

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2 Responses to The Next Misery

  1. Sylvia says:

    Taking B vitamins can help.  Talk to your doctor because it can have negative side effects, but when I was taking B-6 mosquitoes avoided me and bit everyone nearby instead.  Cats tend to enjoy brewer’s yeast tablets, which accomplishes the same thing.  Good luck!

  2. David Moelling says:

    When West Nile first hit the USA in the NYC area, Rudy Guliani hit hard with insecticide spraying around the city.  So did most of NJ and LI.   But the gold coast of Connecticut (Greenwich, Stamford etc.) protested and only limited spraying with less effective insecticides were used.  Now West Nile is endemic another real hazard resulting from unrealistic fears.
    Malaria was widespread in the US until early in the 1900’s and was still in the south and California until the 1950’s.   Most of it was contained by eliminating mosquito habitat and only in the end by DDT.    For those with Dogs, the rapid spread of mosquito borne heartworm in the 1970’s shows how fast a skeeter borne illness can move.

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