We knew it was coming.
Pesky summer mosquitoes have Houston and Harris County homeowners running for cover this summer. The late spring floods didn’t help the already growing problems we face every summer.
It’s easy to understand why it’s so important to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. In addition to their itchy bites, these tiny winged vampires can cause serious diseases such as West Nile virus, Dengue fever, and now Zika. As of July 21, 2016, Texas has seen 69 reported cases of Zika. Sadly, one of those cases was an infant who contracted the virus before birth. ABC has spent the first half of 2016 keeping our customers, friends, and the community updated on Zika Virus. You can rest assured we will continue to do so until this problem has been contained.
Mosquitoes are a year-round consideration.
When the weather gets colder, many people breathe a sigh of relief and forget all about these potentially dangerous insects. Unfortunately, mosquitoes will return in large numbers without the proper preventative methods.
Mosquitoes are practical creatures that know how to survive and adapt to existing conditions. Although they can’t effectively function when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, live adults of some mosquito species can hibernate for up to eight months. Mosquito larvae can even survive freezing temperatures under a layer of ice. When warm weather returns, larvae finish developing and adults wake to begin their new breeding season.
Mosquitoes reproduce in aquatic habitats, which means that they lay their eggs in water. Removing all sources of stagnant water is critical for reducing the mosquito population. Large and obvious sources such as small pools or open containers are usually discovered and managed, but there are a few potential habitats that are easily overlooked.
Houston’s climate is partly to blame for mosquito problems.
When Houston receives significant sub-tropical precipitation as we did this past spring, rain water can fill recesses and cavities in tree stumps or even large plant leaves, such as giant Aloe plants. In such a humid climate, the water may not evaporate quickly. If drainage is poor, water may even collect on the ground.
Any material that is capable of containing even small amounts of water should be drained, removed, and stored in a dry location. This including old tires, children’s outdoor toys, and unused pots or jars. Bird baths are a very popular breeding ground for mosquitoes. If you really want to attract birds, get a bird seed feeder instead (thought this can attract other nuisance pests, such as rats). Keeping lots of plant pots around might be “trendy” right now, but your health is far more important.
Clean and refresh pet water dishes daily, and be sure to repair or correct any sources of leaking water such as water meters, garden hoses or damaged septic tanks. Pools that are not winterized and covered should be chemically treated throughout the year. Allow the filter and pool pump to run continuously to keep the water moving and prevent both mosquito breeding and frozen equipment.
ABC Home & Commercial Services’ professional exterminators offer advanced mosquito abatement. In addition to removing all standing water sources in your yard, trust your ABC Houston pest control experts to keep your property fully armed against mosquitoes year-round.