PUBLISHED ON August 31st, 2011
Mosquito pest control is a common request for many a Pacific Northwest pest control company. Portland and other Northwest urban areas are home to many mosquitoes, since cities contain plenty of areas with standing water, which makes excellent breeding grounds for these bloodsucking pests.
This year, mosquito pest control is especially important, since Portland pest control service reps and biologists around the state of Oregon have spotted a new type of diurnal mosquito: the rock pool mosquito, an Asian species that can carry dangerous diseases. The following is a look at this new species, as well as environmentally friendly mosquito pest control techniques you can use around your home or business.
The rock pool mosquito, or Ochlerotatus Japonicus, is an especially aggressive species that was brought to the United States in a shipment of tires in 1998. These ‘skeeters are distinct in that they can breed in nearly any open container with standing water. (The majority of mosquito species lay their eggs in more natural areas, such as marshlands.) Your Portland pest control service representative knows to identify this non-native insect by the unique white bands of color on its legs.
Considering that one female rock pool mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs at once, it’s no wonder Multnomah County Officials have been busy this summer spraying larvicide to kill rock pool mosquitoes in their pre-flight state. The main concern of health officials is that rock pool mosquitoes may carry any number of deadly diseases, including malaria, West Nile virus and Dengue fever.
The fact that the rock pool mosquito bites during the day is especially disconcerting for state health officials and the insect experts at your local pest control company. Portland residents stand a better chance of being bitten by these daytime mosquitoes and therefore stand a better chance of being infected with a mosquito-borne disease. As Multnomah County’s public vector ecologist Carl Pierce recently explained to the Oregonian, “The potential for disease transmission is much greater with these guys.”
Pest control service providers suggest following the tips below to minimize mosquito bites this summer.
Eliminate stagnant, standing water. If you live in a wet place like Portland, pest control service gurus recommend that you check your property for any container that could hold stagnant water. Coffee cans, tires, gutters, wading pools, birdbaths and buckets are all good places to check. Remove such items from your yard to destroy potential mosquito breeding habitats.
Don’t wear dark clothing. Etymologists maintain that mosquitoes are more attracted to those who wear dark colors. That’s because mosquitoes locate their next meal visually, and they tend to see dark colors better than light colors.
Set a mosquito trap. Insect traps are a green form of mosquito pest control because instead of spreading toxic chemicals throughout an eco system, they lure the insect pests to an enclosed container. Alfalfa, yeast and sugar are especially attractive to mosquitoes; experts use these ingredients to build effective ‘skeeter traps. Google “DIY mosquito trap” for any number of instructions on how to build a mosquito trap for your home or business.
Wear long-sleeved clothing. Invest in some light, sweat-wicking summer clothing with long sleeves. This will reduce the amount of skin surface area that is available as a target for bloodthirsty female mosquitoes. (By the by, only pregnant mosquitoes suck blood; they use it for the development of their eggs.)
Apply mosquito repellant. The old-school approach to mosquito pest control is to apply DEET, a synthetic chemical first created by the U.S. Army for use in jungle warfare. Multiple studies have shown that DEET can damage brain cells over time. Therefore, most pest experts recommend avoiding DEET except when it’s absolutely necessary. Instead, apply natural mosquito repellants containing essential oils from plants that mosquitoes hate, including mint and lavender. Some garden experts also recommend growing mosquito-repelling plants around your property to discourage these miniature flying vampires from living near your home.
By following these techniques, you can avoid being bitten by the rock pool mosquito and the other 25 or so mosquito species that call Multnomah County home. One final tip: If you already have a significant mosquito population on your property, it’s best to call a Portland pest control service for help.