Expert Says Early Spring will Bring “Worst Mosquito Summer Ever”
Retailers Already Report High Demand for Mosquito Control Products
Unusually warm weather has brought the earliest spring season in recent memory across much of the U.S. While many folks are delighted by the early warm weather, mosquito control experts are already warning about the onslaught of biting mosquitoes that is sure to follow.
“Mosquito breeding season typically begins with the onset of warmer temperatures,” said Jonathan Cohen, mosquito control expert and president of Summit Responsible Solutions (www.summitresponsiblesolutions.com), which makes Mosquito Dunks®, the number-one selling biological mosquito control product. “Because of this year’s early spring, mosquito populations will be increasing sooner and faster. This summer could become the worst mosquito summer ever in the U.S. and Canada.”
The key to controlling mosquito populations is eliminating or treating standing water where they lay their eggs. Mosquito Dunks®, which look like small beige donuts, kill mosquito larvae before they can become biting, disease-carrying adults. The active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks® is a naturally occurring bacterium that is deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things.
Summit Mosquito & Gnat Barrier contains permethrin, a residual insecticide that provides up to four weeks of repellency for a wide variety of insect pests including mosquitoes, gnats, ants, fleas, ticks and more. Spraying a backyard can help to reduce suitable mosquito resting areas (typically found in vertical vegetation), and therefore reduce the chances of being bitten.
More mosquitoes mean more of the pesky, painful mosquito bites. Not only do mosquito bites bring uncomfortable itching and swelling, but mosquitoes also transmit diseases such as West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and canine heartworm disease.
The expected bumper crop of mosquitoes has already resulted in an early increase in sales of mosquito control products. According to Cohen, sales of Mosquito Dunks® are way ahead of normal for this time of year. Sales of mosquito repellants and mosquito killers are expected to continue at a record pace throughout the long, hot summer season.
The trend toward organic and eco-friendly ways to control mosquitoes is expected to continue. This move away from chemical controls has helped make Mosquito Dunks® the leading organic and biological mosquito control product. The active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks® is called B.t.i. (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), a bacterium that naturally kills mosquito larvae but is harmless to other living things. When placed in ponds, ditches, rain gutters, birdbaths and any area where water collects and mosquitoes can lay eggs, Mosquito Dunks® will kill mosquito larvae for up to 30 days.
Unlike other mosquito control products that target adult insects, Mosquito Dunks® kill mosquito larvae before they become flying, biting adults. “It’s always more effective to control mosquito populations by killing the larvae,” said Cohen.
To control adult mosquitoes that do develop past the larval stage, insecticidal sprays can be used to keep insect pests out of yards and gardens. Many of today’s mosquito sprays use less environmentally toxic active ingredients than products which were popular a decade or two ago. Summit’s Mosquito & Gnat Barrier, packaged in a convenient hose-end sprayer, contains permethrin, an insecticide that kills insects and repels a wide variety of insect pests including mosquitoes for up to four weeks.
“Spraying a backyard can help to reduce mosquito resting areas in landscape vegetation and therefore reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects,” said Cohen. “Spraying the wooded areas that your dog frequents can also aid in reducing the risk of tick-borne illness for pets and humans.”
To reduce mosquito breeding areas, homeowners are advised to be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect and stand in their yards and gardens. “Mosquitoes can breed in a coffee cup of standing water in less than a week,” says Cohen.
Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, old tires and other items that can collect water. Turn over wheelbarrows and empty children’s wading pools. Clean clogged roof gutters, which can become prime mosquito-breeding pools. Drill holes in in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors. Periodically empty the saucers under ceramic pots to make sure they are not harboring mosquito larvae.
To reduce the chances of getting mosquito bites, limit your outdoor activities during the times of day when mosquitoes are most active—an hour before and after dawn and an hour before and after dusk. To repel mosquitoes, use a product containing DEET, which sets the standard by which all other repellents are judged.
Also, don’t forget that clothing is an excellent barrier between you and a mosquito. Wear clothing that will protect more of your body, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants, especially during the evening hours.
Mosquito Dunks® is a registered trademark of Summit Chemical Company headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.