Control Breeding Sites to Control Mosquitoes

Image courtesy http://www.star-telegram.com.

Image courtesy http://www.star-telegram.com.

This is Passport to Texas

Apply sunscreen this summer, and while you’re at it, apply products with DEET or essential oils that repel Aedes aegypti, a mosquito, suspected of spreading Zika virus.

It’s an introduced species, and it is most common around the eastern half of Texas.

Austin-based entomologist, Mike Quinn, says one way to lessen exposure to Aedes aegypti is based on the time of day you’re out and about.

The Aedes aegypti is a day biting insect, so it’s a little different [than other mosquitoes].

While reports of the virus in the US are travel related, pregnant women are encouraged to use caution, as zika has been linked to neurological issues in newborns. Quinn says the insects breed in standing water.

The Aedis isn’t a long distance flyer. So, controlling breeding sites on our property can be a very effective way to reduce the mosquito. And, it’s what we call a container breeding mosquito. And it’s in pots and barrels and toys and bottles; it can breed in a very small amount of water—a tablespoon or less even. But, it takes about a week under optimal conditions to go from egg to adult. So, doing a weekly cleanup of property—checking for water sources; changing out the birdbath water on a weekly basis is a good way to keep the population down locally.

Find links to more information about Aedes aegypti and the zika virus on the passport to Texas website.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation supports our series and helps keep Texas wild with the support of proud members across the state. Find out more at tpwf.org.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Leave a Reply