Rain, rain sets the table for mosquitos

Feb 23, 2024, 13:44 PM by Fred Speer

The record rainfall that southern California experienced recently has pest management professionals anticipating a strong spring pest season.

A recent article in Pest Control Technology magazine interviewed professionals on how they thought that rain – downtown Los Angeles experienced 7 inches in two days, the area's third-wettest two-day period on record – would affect pest activity looking ahead, especially mosquitos.

Why is Clark, California’s friendly pest, rodent, and termite expert, is talking mosquitos in February? The reason is that the seeds of these annoying pests’ presence are often sown months before they emerge to invade backyards.

Heavy rains can promote mosquito breeding, because that rain creates ideal conditions for mosquitoes to lay eggs and for those eggs to hatch. Mosquitoes typically lay eggs in stagnant water, and heavy rains can create pools of standing water that serve as breeding grounds. Additionally, rain can flush out and refresh existing breeding sites, making them more attractive to mosquitoes. Mosquito larvae develop in water, so more water means more opportunities for mosquitoes to reproduce.

Although more than 50 mosquito species are found in California, the three genera that pose the biggest threat are Culex, Aedes, and Anopheles.

Mosquitoes can breed in as small a space as a bottlecap, and can carry and transmit many disease pathogens, including Chikungunya, dengue fever, eastern equine encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and Zika. They are such a threat to public health that many county governments have set up special agencies to control these flying, disease-carrying pests. But quite often, those vector control agencies’ hard work doesn’t go far enough, and your home will need extra protection.

Protect your backyard from mosquitos

You can take several steps to prevent mosquitoes around your home. These include:

Remove standing water: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so removing any sources of standing water around your home can help. This includes emptying and cleaning birdbaths, flowerpots, gutters, and other items that can collect water.

Maintain your yard: Keep your lawn well-trimmed and remove any debris that could collect water. Trim back overgrown vegetation where mosquitoes can hide.

Use mosquito repellent: Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when outdoors, especially during times of peak mosquito activity.

Install screens: Make sure windows and doors have screens without any holes or gaps to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

A three-step mosquito solution from Clark

Public mosquito and vector control agencies monitor and treat mosquitoes in waterways, catch basins, and areas accessible to the public, but private property is often outside those agencies’ range of influence.

Clark Pest Control’s Swat-Away mosquito control service uses a three-pronged approach to target mosquitoes at different life stages.

1. Remove and treat breeding sites: Standing water is removed, and in any standing water that remains, larvicide tablets are applied to kill any mosquito larvae left in the water.

2. Install and service a mosquito defense station: A station is installed that infects egg-laying female mosquitoes. This is important, as female mosquitoes need a protein from blood meals to create their eggs, and they are the ones that bite. The station contaminates them with a biological fungus that eventually kills the insect, but not before it can be spread to other mosquitoes as she travels to additional bodies of water to lay more eggs. This targeted treatment turns the mosquitoes’ own biology against them, passing the fungus to any hidden breeding sites in your yard.

3. Treat mosquito resting areas: Clark technicians apply a product designed for long-lasting mosquito control to foliage and shady areas where mosquitoes are known to rest. While Clark’s Pest-Away service targets treatment to cracks and crevices where crawling pests hide, the Swat-Away service uses a broadcast application to cover mosquito resting areas. This thorough coverage will ensure that the product remains effective against resting mosquitoes until the next time your property is serviced.

To get ahead of mosquito season this year, call, or text Clark Pest Control at (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at clarkcares@clarkpest.com.

Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.