The start of mosquito season is right around the corner. Princeton Hydro offers simple solutions to reduce mosquito exposure and eliminate mosquito breeding.
Concerns about Zika virus (transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito) arose in Brazil last May and have since quickly escalated. With cases confirmed in over 20 countries across Central and South America, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declared the virus an international public health emergency. WHO reported that Zika could infect as many as 4 million people by the end of 2016. Additionally, West Nile virus remains a concern throughout the U.S. along with other mosquito-borne illnesses that affect humans, pets and livestock.
With spring rains and warmer temperatures on the horizon, mosquitos of all types will soon be buzzing. As predicted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, by June we can expect mosquitos carrying the Zika virus to arrive in the Mid-Atlantic States. There are many simple measures that public and private pond and land owners can take in advance of mosquito season to reduce mosquito breeding and lessen the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses without resorting to the use of chemicals.
Here are three simple mosquito-prevention tips for ponds:
- Eliminate stagnant water by installing a sub-surface aeration system. This will keep the pond thoroughly mixed and properly circulated. Subsurface aeration systems are the most cost-effective and energy-efficient way to maintain proper pond circulation and mixing. Agitating the water’s surface interferes with the female mosquito’s ability to lay eggs and the success of mosquito larvae.
- Along the shoreline of the pond, maintain or create an aquascaped edge dominated by native, non-invasive vegetation. As opposed to a sterile lawn edge, an aquascaped edge provides habitat for mosquito-eating amphibians, fish, birds, and beneficial insects.
- Prevent grass clippings and lawn fertilizer from entering the pond. Doing so decreases the chance of an algae bloom which could create the still water conditions that favor mosquito breeding.
Additionally, you may want to consider hiring a certified professional to assess your pond and develop a customized management plan. Having your pond inspected by an expert helps you stay informed about your pond’s ecological status and implement measures to prevent/remedy conditions that could create mosquito breeding habitat and promote mosquito related problems.
But that’s not all!
Here are seven things you can do around your home or business property to prevent mosquito breeding:
- Stagnant water is the perfect habitat for mosquito breeding. Check your property for areas where water easily collects: empty flower pots, buckets, old tires, tire ruts, low spots in lawns and trash cans.
- Clear clogged rain gutters and storm drains, and keep them free of debris.
- Regularly change the water in bird baths and pet dishes.
- Store canoes and small boats upside-down.
- Check tarps and grill covers for pooled water, and shake them out after a rain storm.
- Repair leaky outside faucets, pipes and hoses to prevent puddles from forming.
- Consider buying or building a bat house – one brown bat can eat up to 600 mosquitoes per hour!
Simply put, if you want to limit mosquito breeding in your pond or on your property, take the time to implement long-term management measures that integrate natural solutions, thereby creating an inhospitable environment for mosquitos. As noted above, this can be accomplished without resorting to chemicals! In addition to keeping your pond properly circulated, employ preventative practices that eliminate potential mosquito-breeding areas around your property, and regularly inspect areas to help quickly identify and resolve developing mosquito populations.
Princeton Hydro offers a full complement of services, including detailed water quality analysis, adaptive management plans and field services covering all areas of pond maintenance. Our team of certified lake and pond managers, wetland scientists, and water resource engineers can provide you with the expertise needed to diagnose the cause of pond problems and develop solutions that are environmentally sound and cost-effective. Contact Princeton Hydro to discuss how we can help you!
Read an interesting article about the origins of Zika here.