Around Your Home
Around Your Home
Around Your Home
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Products containing Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti)
Bonide Mosquito Beater WSP (water soluble pouches, formerly Plunks), Summit Mosquito Dunks, Summit Mosquito Bits, Vectobac
Product for making chloramine-treated water safe for fish
Kordon Pond NovAqua Plus
Insect growth regulator
Pre-Strike Mosquito Torpedo
With plant oils: Bite Blocker (soybean, coconut, and geranium oils), Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent
With IRD3535: Avon Skin So Soft, Jungle Formula Outdoor & Camping Spray Insect Repellent
With DEET: OFF!
With picaridin: Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent
There are many different kinds of mosquitoes. Some bite during the day, while others feed at night. Only adult female mosquitoes bite humans and other animals — they need blood to produce eggs. Both male and female adult mosquitoes feed on plant nectar for energy. Young mosquitoes (larvae) live in water and feed on microorganisms and organic matter. Just about any area or container that holds water for more than a few days can produce a large crop of mosquitoes. Your bites may be coming from mosquitoes you are raising in your own backyard.
Mosquitoes are part of the aquatic ecosystem, providing food for fish and other aquatic creatures. For humans, however, it’s a different story. In addition to their annoying buzzing and itchy bites, mosquitoes carry diseases that can be serious, even fatal, to humans, like West Nile virus. Getting rid of mosquitoes and making sure they aren’t breeding around your home will help keep everyone safer—and keep you and your family from getting bitten.
Follow the tips in this fact sheet to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your area. Only certified vector control technicians are permitted to apply mosquito control pesticides so that effects on other insects are minimized.
Do not treat street gutters or storm drains with pesticides. Storm drains are connected directly to the Bay, and pesticides cause serious problems for aquatic life. Call your mosquito and vector control district if you suspect mosquitoes are breeding in the storm drains or catch basins in your neighborhood. To find your local district, go to:
You can get free mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) from your county mosquito and vector control district (www.mvcac.org). Mosquitofish are non-native predators of mosquito larvae and can be helpful in controlling mosquitoes in a backyard pond, pool, or water garden. Unfortunately, they also feed on several threatened and endangered species in Western states so they must NEVER be released into a creek, stream, or any place that might overflow to a creek or stream.
Unfortunately, they also feed on several threatened and endangered species in Western states so they must NEVER be released into a creek, stream, or any place that might overflow to a creek or stream.
Less than three inches long when fully grown, mosquitofish commonly eat three times their weight in mosquito larvae a day. Their diet also includes zooplankton, beetles, mayflies, caddisflies, mites, and other invertebrates. In fact, too many mosquitofish can make a mosquito problem worse by eating other mosquito predators.
Mosquitoes can breed in any amount of standing water.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following active ingredients in repellents. These are all registered by the US Environmental Protection Agency as safe and effective when applied according to label instructions:
The products described below can be used in ponds and water gardens, birdbaths, fountains, pools, tree holes, and other standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs. Apply in the spring when mosquito larvae are first seen and continue as recommended on the package.
West Nile virus (WNV) is carried by mosquitoes and by wild birds—especially crows, ravens, jays, and magpies—that have been bitten by mosquitoes. In humans, WNV can be serious or even fatal, although many people who are infected do not develop symptoms.
Some people with WNV will have mild flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back) that last for just a few days. People with mild symptoms usually get better on their own. If you have severe WNV symptoms, such as very bad headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and think you might have WNV, talk to your doctor.
If you find a dead bird—particularly a crow, raven, jay, magpie, sparrow, finch, or raptor—do not pick it up with your bare hands. File an online report about the bird at http://www.westnile.ca.gov or call toll-free 1-877-968-2473. Dead bird reports are important because they are usually the first indication that the virus is active in an area.
For more WNV information, go to http://www.westnile.ca.gov.
Contact your local mosquito and vector control district (www.mvcac.org/resources/member-agencies) if there is an uncontrolled mosquito source in your neighborhood, such as an abandoned pond or pool; or if you need assistance with a mosquito problem on your property. Most district services are provided free of charge.