Mosquito Control Johannesburg

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Understanding the mosquito life cycle is the key to avoiding bites and reducing populations around your home. When traveling in areas where mosquito-borne diseases are a concern, take measures to limit your exposure and consider using insect repellent. Low impact approaches and non-chemical measures that target mosquito larvae are highlighted in this Pest Management Bulletin.

Mosquitoes flying around your home can cause those itchy red bumps, and can potentially transmit disease. Your vector control district actively conducts large-scale mosquito management, but everyone can help prevent the spread of malaria, West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne health threats. The goal is to remove breeding grounds and eliminate mosquito larvae to keep population levels low.

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    Home Mosquito Control Johannesburg

    Wondering how to protect yourself while traveling in areas with serious mosquito-borne diseases? Malaria is transmitted among humans by female Anopheles mosquitoes and is most prevalent in parts of South America, Africa, and South Asia. Mosquitoes need warmth and water to thrive, so take location and seasonality into account when you plan your trip. To avoid mosquito bites while traveling, consider the following:

    • If possible, plan your trip with a mosquito-avoidance strategy in mind. High elevations, desert, and coastal areas, and other places with colder night temperatures will often have fewer mosquitoes. In dry areas, mosquito activity is much higher during the rainy season, so plan accordingly.
    • If you are traveling to a malaria zone, see your physician prior to travel to determine if an anti-malarial medication is required.
    • Pack a mosquito net. It is essential for travel to some areas of the world when you need to sleep outdoors or in an unscreened room. Hang mosquito nets and close bug screens before dark.
    • Cover up before you get bites, wear loose long sleeved shirts and long pants to reduce skin exposure. Tightly woven cotton will provide better protection than more porous synthetics.
    • As much as possible, apply mosquito repellent to clothing. This is preferable to directly applying a repellent to the skin, but don’t neglect to also use repellent on exposed areas.
    • Don’t spend time near waterlogged ground or other places where mosquitoes breed. Also, avoid outdoor activities at dawn and dusk, when mosquito activity is highest.

    Life Cycle

    The most effective control methods target the larval stage of the mosquito life cycle. In the United States there are nearly 200 species of mosquitoes, each with its own preferred habitat for laying eggs. Culex mosquitoes, a common species found in North America, will lay hundreds of eggs that stick together to form a raft on the surface of still water; some species will lay only a single egg. Floodwater mosquito species prefer moist soil where their eggs can patiently wait for water to pool, months or even years later.  Mosquito eggs will hatch in water within 48 hours, and the larvae transform into airborne adults within two weeks. Female mosquitoes need protein from mammalian blood to breed and are the ones responsible for all those painful bites. Stop the cycle and protect yourself from these bothersome feeders with the low-impact approaches outlined in the following sections.

    Common Mosquito Species

    NamePreferred HabitatHours of ActivityRange
    AedesTemporary floodwater pools, fresh and brackish marshes, containers.All hoursWorldwide distribution, including extreme northern latitudes
    AnophelesFresh- or salt-water marshes, swamps, grassy ditches, the edges of streams and rivers, and small, temporary rain pools.Dawn, dusk, at nightTemperate, subtropical and tropical areas worldwide
    CulexFreshwater pools, ditches, ponds, and sewage treatment plants.Dusk, daytimeTropics to cool temperate regions worldwide
    MansoniaAquatic plants, water lettuce, and cattails.SunsetTropics worldwide
    PsorophoraTemporary floodwaters, woodland pools, roadside ditches, and pastures.Early evening, daytime in shadeTropics and warmer temperate regions of North and South America
    WyeomyiaBromeliad habitats and pitcher plants.DaytimeCentral and South America, the Caribbean and Florida

    Low Impact Approaches

    The control measures outlined below are best used in combination to disrupt the mosquito life cycle. By removing breeding sites and using window screens, you can potentially reduce the number of mosquitoes in and around your home and also limit your exposure to them.

    Remove Habitat

    The best way to avoid mosquito bites is to locate and remove standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs. Larvae are usually found on the surface of stagnant water. While it is unlikely that you can eliminate every possible area where water pools, you can minimize popular mosquito habitats.

    • Remove any items located outdoors that can collect water, including buckets, old tires, bottles, wheelbarrows, and cans. For inflatable or kiddie pools, change the water frequently, drain or cover when not in use.
     
    • Keep swimming pools circulating and chlorinated at all times.
    • Avoid creating small puddles with excessive irrigation. Check to make sure plants have proper drainage and maintain vegetation to reduce the number of places where the adult mosquitoes can take shelter.
    • If your home has a septic tank, test it for proper functioning and make sure that no puddles form in the drain field.
    • Remove debris from rain gutters regularly and keep street gutters clear to prevent water runoff from pooling. Remember to check items stored outdoors, like plastic tarps, as well as tree stumps for standing water.

    Minimize Exposure

    Removing mosquito habitats from your yard may not be enough to eliminate all mosquitoes.

    • Prevent bites by avoiding the outdoors when mosquito activity is at its greatest, often at dawn, early evening, and dusk.
    • If staying inside is not an option, wear long sleeves and pants or a hat with netting to minimize exposed skin and avoid areas like swamps, marshes, and slow-moving streams where mosquitoes thrive.
    • Avoid shady shots and places sheltered from the wind. Biting is less of a problem in sunny, brightly lit areas and a breeze will make it harder for mosquitoes to find you.
    • Turn on a fan, moving air will keep mosquitoes and other weak flyers away. This works best in a relatively small area where you can set up a fan or two to create good airflow.
    • If there are more mosquitoes in the house then you can kill with a fly swatter, cover beds with netting, especially cribs.

    Potential Consequences of Using Mosquito Control Pesticides

    Recognize that when you use mosquito-control pesticides, you should be ready to deal with these potential consequences:

    • Pesticides applied to the skin may cause skin irritation. In some individuals, hypersensitivity and/or psychological effects have been noted from exposure to DEET.  Avoid frequent or heavy use of insect repellents, and wash the skin with soap and warm water after use.
    • Insect repellent formulations can be irritating to some and in high concentrations can damage clothing or plastics.
    • The use of aerosol sprays or foggers guarantees exposure to the pesticidally active ingredient, through inhalation of the spray droplets and contamination of exposed surfaces.

    Precautions to Take When Using Mosquito Control Products

    If you determine that pesticides are necessary, take these precautionary steps to reduce the potential for adverse effects:

    • Never spray repellents directly onto your face; apply first onto your hands, then apply the product lightly onto your face and head. Better yet, apply the repellent to a hat and wear the hat.
    • Use repellents sparingly; applying heavier doses does not increase protection. Repellents do not kill mosquitoes; they discourage them from attacking treated areas. Effectiveness and duration of repellency vary considerably, with most lasting for four hours or less.
    • Apply repellents only to clothing and exposed skin; never use underneath clothing. Do not apply to cuts or irritated skin.
    • Never apply oil of lemon eucalyptus on children under three; it has not been tested on children of this age. Do not allow children to handle mosquito-control products.
    • Always read and follow the label instructions on the pesticide product. The label is the law.

    Mosquito-Control Pesticides

    There are many mosquito-control products sold to reduce mosquito populations at home, including liquid, granular, and powder formulations. When using these chemical products, take precautions to minimize human, pet, and environmental exposure. The information below will help you understand the risks associated with the active ingredients in these products.

    Aerosol Sprays, Foggers, and Outdoor Misting Systems

    Use of aerosol sprays, foggers, and misting systems is not recommended, due to the high probability of harm during the application from inhaling the pesticides and touching the residues they leave behind. People and pets may be exposed to pesticides through direct contact with spray droplets, contact with objects in the treatment area on which residues have landed, or inhalation of aerosolized pesticide in the air.

    Outdoor sprays can drift away and pose a risk to non-target wildlife such as fish, honey bees, ladybugs, and butterflies. These systems provide only temporary relief from mosquitoes, and widespread use can lead to mosquito resistance.

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