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Jun 24 2016

If you are ready to take action to control mosquitoes around your home, here are a few useful tips to help you. It really isn't that difficult to find and eliminate mosquito breeding sources around your home and protect yourself and your family from Chikungunya in Sayulita!

Mosquitoes always breed in standing water, the larvae and pupae of mosquitoes typically rest at the surface of the water and dive down wiggling wildly when disturbed. Often it is as easy as just dumping out cups, buckets and other containers of water onto the ground. Finding some of the sources can be a little bit trickier, as mosquitoes can breed in the leaf axils of plants, up high in blocked or poorly sloped rain gutters, in water tanks that are not sealed, or on flat roofs. Septic tanks are another favorite breeding ground. If there are openings in the lids of septic tanks at ground level, seal the tops of the tanks with concrete carefully so that there are no small cracks mosquitoes can go through. It is also important to check the vent pipes that allow gases to vent out of the tanks and make sure that they are netted. You can use any type of cloth you have around the house to tie over the septic tank vent pipe, as long as it does not have any holes in the fabric. An old T-shirt or dish cloth is fine! One of the favorite breeding grounds of mosquitoes that I noticed on my recent trip to Sayulita was buckets of water that contained rooting plants! This is the perfect mosquito breeding ground! Avoid leaving buckets of rooting plants around your yard. If you must store tires, make sure they are dry and out of the rain. Mosquitoes love to breed in tires!

If you are going to look around your home and yard, don't forget to check vases of flowers or rooting plants inside your house, and the large rectangular tanks that many people use to store water in their kitchens.  Bleach at high enough concentrations will kill mosquito larvae and is a common household material that is easy to get. 

Don't forget that the Aedes mosquitoes that carry Chikangunya and Dengue Fever lay their eggs dry above the water line and those eggs can last up to one year dry and still be alive! This fact makes it extremely important to empty and scrub pet water dishes and vases every few days, especially pay attention to the area that was right above the previous water line where the Aedes mosquitoes have already laid a new batch of eggs, waiting to hatch the moment you refill the container.

Using a flashlight to help you see mosquito larvae in dark pipes and other areas works extremely well. Always have a flashlight in your hand when you hunt for mosquitoes!

Here are 10 tips to guide you in your mosquito hunting!  It can be quite fun and exciting and a great education for your children! HAPPY HUNTING!

*Mosquitoes always breed in standing water, look for the wigglers there!

1. Check to make sure fish are in all the water features around your garden. If not, put 10 small mosquito eating fish in every water feature. 

2. Don’t store any containers that can trap water outside. Either discard containers or move to covered storage out of the rain.

3. Check for mosquito breeding in the three terrible T’s, TIRES, TANKS and TARPS

4. Look for coconuts that are collecting water and breeding mosquitoes. If found, cut into quarters and stack the pieces so that they can’t collect water.  If you have large piles you may want to consider removing them. 

5. Check water storage tanks to make sure there are no entry points for mosquitoes. Use heavy duty tape, pipe fitting, silicon caulking and netting to seal any holes or gaps!

6. Check to make sure the vent pipe on every septic tank (junction box) is screened, and that junctions are completely sealed at the ground surface with concrete grout, without any cracks or holes that allow mosquitoes to come and go from the tank.

7. Check for mosquito breeding in wells, rain gutters, cut bamboo poles and vases.

8. Change the water in pet enclosures daily! Scrub pet water dishes daily to kill mosquito eggs on the sides of the dishes.

9. Avoid rooting plant cuttings in water over long periods of time and check greenhouse and nursery areas for water filled containers.

10. Share what you know about controlling mosquitoes with your neighbors to create a larger “Zone of Safety”! Organize a neighborhood clean-up to get rid of trash and containers that hold water that could be breeding mosquitoes.

TAKE ACTION NOW!