Created: Wed, 09 Apr 2014 05:16:00 EST
Updated: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:51:29 EST
Flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. Yes, Spring is here which means soon the awful insects that bite and leave itchy red bumps will return to annoy us. Thankfully, Chris Cookman from Mosquito Joe has ways to control and eliminate these pesky biters.
There are four stages to its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. However, these bugs are fast growers- it only takes a week for a mosquito to go from an egg to adult. Only female mosquitoes bite humans, because they need the protein from our blood to lay more eggs.
Before female fliers draw your blood, Cookman says there are three steps to controlling mosquitoes. The first is getting rid of any water that sits more than five to seven days. This includes birdbaths, buckets of water, wheel barrels and clogged gutters. Cookman advices, “Any water you can eliminate is ideal. There’s got to be eggs laid in water to progress the life cycle." Pools and most creeks and streams are not big problem areas because the water is being filtered or is flowing.
If you want to keep your birdbath or if your yard has areas of constant standing water, Cookman says the second step is to have a professional larvicide the water by spreading granules or briquettes in the water. He explains, “Any surface water that goes to stay there for five to seven days has the potential to birth mosquitoes." These can be used to treat everything from storm drains, to gutters and ditches.
The third step is eliminating the adult mosquitoes by spraying cool, damp areas where they live. Shrubbery and flower beds are beautiful for your landscape, but that is where adult mosquitoes live during the day to stay cool and come out during dusk and dawn. A high volume pressure spray machine, like the one Mosquito Joe uses, puts out a "knock-down" substance that kills the adult mosquitoes as soon as they touch it. It usually lasts about 3 weeks. It even treats ticks and helps save you money on your pets. Cookman explains, “A lot of our customers no longer have to use the more expensive flea removal medicines they've been giving their pets."
While the products professionals use are non-toxic to people and pets, if you're planning an outdoor event, Cookman says there are natural spray repellents they can use. These not only have a welcoming scent but are also safe to use near ponds and gardens. If you'd like to spray an outdoor area you hunt or do yard work, Cookman advises using a product with at least 20 percent DEET.