We live in Tallahassee, Florida and to sum up our environment here: hot, wet, humid, and lots of oak trees- mosquitos love us!! I realize that I will not be able to completely eradicate them from our lives unless I want to move the family to the dessert (which sometimes seems like a good idea,) but I'm looking for ways to lower the population. I have read the mosquito control article and am going to initiate many of your suggestions.
My one, or two, specific questions are:
1) we have a large area under a Live Oak tree that is constantly covered with wet oak leaves. If I remove all of the leaves and try to establish St. Augustine grass there, will that at least take care of that particular breeding area? They can't breed in grass correct?
2) I have a few flower beds around the hose that I mulch with pine straw (and of course the falling oak leaves which I can't seem to keep out of my yard.) If I remove the pine straw and replace it with rocks, like the white landscape type or river rocks, will that eliminate that particular breeding area? Can they breed under wet rocks just as well as they breed under wet pine straw?
Please help! I am a mother who loves to let her little boys play outside but they are getting eaten alive in our yard, AKA The Mosquito Resort. Thanks- Sarah P.S. If we ever move I am definitely looking for a house with a big lawn free of shade areas and trees, nothing but grass and sunshine! Did I mention I hate mosquitos?
First, as explained in our MOSQUITO CONTROL article, mosquitoes are quite capable of nesting and breeding anywhere that provides some moisture and shade. Grass happens to be one of their favorite locations as is pine straw, rocks, mulch, ground cover, vines, etc. Basically anywhere and on anything that can hold moisture. For some reason people seem to think mosquitoes need water – as in large puddles or pools – to breed but in fact there are many species that require just a tad bit of moisture to reproduce. These are the species that wreak havoc on most homeowners. Especially if you lot is well shaded and moist.
Second, though you're effort to remove the leaves and lay sod or small rock may enable the yard to look nicer, don't do this with the hopes that your local mosquito population will decrease. It won't. In fact there is a good chance it will get worse. Here's why.
Dead plants and organic matter like leaves tend to loose moisture way faster compared to anything alive. So once grass or something else living is in place of all the debris, the area will actually hold more moisture (which is needed for the plants now living there) in the plants roots, stems and limbs. It's in these areas where the mosquitoes will thrive very well. And because these areas can maintain and "hold onto" moisture longer than something dead, these areas will actually get worse mosquito wise. As for rocks; because of their odd shape (irregular), we know that rock piles are mosquito heavens because water will invariably collect on the surface of many rocks throughout the hundreds or thousands you disperse. These little puddles will be prime locations for mosquitoes to target and many times they'll be down a few layers, out of direct light and well hidden, making the moisture last much longer than normal which in turn "enables" the mosquitoes to thrive.
In the end, as long as you have shade and moisture, you'll have gnats, no seeums and mosquitoes as the primary biting pests in most any yard here in the southeast. And that certainly pertains to anyone residing in Florida. The good news is if you fog the property every 1-2 weeks with some NYLAR and BIFEN using a FM6309 or one of our other listed foggers, they'll be gone for good. These treatments are easy to do, fast, effective and safe for the family, pets and environments. As our article explains, mosquitoes are easy to kill and control when using the right products and right equipment.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Bifen IT: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/bifen
Mosquito Control: http://www.mosquitoes.net/mosquito-control