This month’s article is a type of warning article…….I attended a webinar recently on the mosquito (Aedes aegypti) which is the type of mosquito that carries the Zika virus. St Louis for some reason has been considered a hot spot for this carrier this summer. Below are a few quick points of interest to make you aware of how to stay safe this summer.
The Zika mosquito is a CONTAINER breeder, meaning that it is not found in ponds or streams, but instead in gutters, birdbaths, old tires, holes in trees, septic tanks or anything holding still water. They fly only about ¼ of a mile from egg source, where other mosquitoes can travel up to 2-2 ½ miles. This is a great way to keep them under control. THESE MOSQUITOES ARE DAYTIME BITERS, where other mosquitoes attack at early morning or evening. This is a great indicator. They fly during mid day in bright sunlight and low humidity. If you get bitten in the evening, rest assured that it is not the Zika carrying mosquito causing you problems.
Permethrin (sold in our retail store as EIGHT) and Malathion are two great pesticides that work on spraying foundation plantings and trees up to about 10’ off the ground. This is where the adult mosquitoes harbor. If you are concerned, a foliage spray would be a great preventative. Mosquito Dunks are an Organic larvicide (containing bacillus thuringensis) and are SAFE for pets, wildlife and humans. We sell A LOT of this in our retail store. This is a granular or round dunks that can be put into gutters and any container that holds water, especially animal water bowls, birdbaths, septic tanks and the like.
Breeding sites for mosquitoes that are found need to be dumped and scrubbed to remove any eggs. The eggs cling to the sides of containers at the water lever NOT in the water itself. The eggs are thin and black and resemble the nyjer seed that is often fed to finches. They line up very close to each other at the water level, but always ON the container itself.
Zika can be a big problem this season as there are more than several states that have seen cases…………….. For more information check out this website: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/fs-posters
See You in the Garden,
Sandi Hillermann McDonald