Warm air mixed with the wettest winter/spring in recent memory has created an environment ripe for mosquitoes. Here is some information from the Maricopa County Vector Control that can help you combat those pesky bugs as summer descends upon us.
Maricopa County mosquito surveillance program
The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department has developed and implemented a surveillance program where hundreds of routine sites - areas that have been identified as problem areas or mosquito-breeding sites - are monitored. Over 800 mosquito traps are deployed to these areas every week. In addition, traps are set up in other areas based on mosquito complaints received from residents. This proactive approach allows the agency to monitor mosquitoes and mosquito activity county-wide, which helps minimize the risks of mosquito-borne diseases in our communities.
Report a problem area.
Prevent mosquito breeding
Learning how to prevent mosquitoes from breeding can go a long way towards reducing the impact of mosquitoes on your quality of living. Water is needed for every stage of the mosquito breeding process. If you deprive the mosquitoes of water, they will be unable to breed. The following are some tips to prevent breeding:
- Empty, drain, or cover all things that can and may hold water. Areas of your backyard or porch may have spots where rainwater can pool. Barrels and trash cans tend to collect rainwater extremely well. Old tires, empty bottles, buckets, and other small containers can condense water vapor into tiny pools. Empty and drain all pools of water and cover them up to prevent more water from gathering.
- Ensure swimming pools are operating properly. If you have a small plastic pool meant to be used temporarily, make sure you drain all of the water and store it indoors when it's not in use. If you have a backyard swimming pool, monitor the chlorine levels, and keep the pool clean and the water circulating.
- Repair or prevent outside leaks. Plumbing that runs outside can be affected by exposure to the weather, resulting in minor leaks. Dripping outdoor faucets also pool on the ground. Repair these problems to minimize water collection as much as possible (and save you money!).
- Change water collection pans for indoor or outdoor plant pots weekly. When you water your plants, the excess water will run through the soil and collect in a pan. These collection pans are a prime location for mosquitoes to breed. Empty and clean the pans at least once a week; more often is better.
- Mow your lawn routinely. Mosquitoes aren't likely to lay eggs in tall grass, but they tend to sit in tall grass for rest and hiding. Keep your grass as short as possible.
- Eliminate or fill nooks, crannies, and holes. If you have a patio or a porch, there may be small crevices and openings that can harbor mosquitoes and their eggs. Trees on your lawn may have holes in their trunks where mosquitoes can rest and breed. If you can't eliminate the holes, consider filling them with sand.
There have been a lot of complaints about mosquito issues in Arroyo Grande. All homes in this area have French drains with an underground tube, a drain opening in the backyard, and a drain opening in the front yard. When these aren't kept clear of water, mosquitoes breed. Vector Control cannot fog at night because these mosquitoes are only out during the day. The mosquitoes travel about 100-feet from where they breed. Vector Control advises that unless all homeowners keep the drains free of water, issues will surface. Traps have been set in this area to assist, as well as throughout other parts of Anthem.