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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 2 years ago

More rain brings more need to tip and toss

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by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

Volusia County’s mosquito control wants residents to be aware that more rain, whether associated
with afternoon thunderstorms or a tropical system, means more water that can turn into standing water and breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes can live in water trapped in containers such as buckets, tires, kiddie pools, bird baths and clogged gutters. If a container can retain water, it can create a mosquito problem that affects you and your
neighborhood.

“The two mosquitoes that transmit dengue, chikungunya and Zika, are only produced in containers such as buckets, tires, kiddie pools and gutters,” said James McNelly, Volusia County’s mosquito control director in a press release. “They can even develop in a container as small as a bottle cap.”

This is different than the other mosquitoes in Volusia County, such as the ones typically found in the salt marsh areas.

“There is something about the water quality found in standing water in containers that these mosquitoes like, so making sure everyone is dumping their containers regularly is critical to keep them from developing,” McNelly said.

Other unique characteristics about these container-bred mosquitoes include:

  • They bite primarily during the day versus at dawn, dusk or night like other mosquitoes.
  • They will enter your home, which means having screens on windows and keeping doors closed is very important.
  • They do not fly very far from where they are produced, which is unlike other mosquitoes such as the salt marsh mosquito, which can travel great distances for a meal.

During mosquito season, Volusia County Mosquito Control sprays regularly throughout the county to include areas where an increase in mosquito activity is seen.

Residents can learn the locations by visiting volusia.org/mosquito or following @VCNewsInfo on Twitter. Spray locations and times are regularly tweeted.

Residents can request mosquito control service in their area by calling 239-6516 in Daytona Beach.

The most important preventive steps residents can take include tipping containers more often (at least weekly) to remove standing water, tossing containers not in use, and wearing mosquito repellent to avoid
mosquito bites.

“Take a walk through your yard so you can see where water is collecting,” McNelly advises. “At first you may not think you have that much that can hold standing water. But, once you really take a look, you’ll probably be surprised. Even upside-down recycle containers that have an edge can hold water.”

He offers these additional suggestions:

  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and broken appliances.
  • Turn over empty pots and buckets.
  • Replace the water in birdbaths and pet dishes at least once a week. 
  • Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
  • Pick up beverage containers and cups.
  • Drain water from boats and tarps.
  • Cover windows and doors with screens.
  • Maintain the proper chemistry in swimming pools, and empty plastic pools when not in use.

Visit volusia.org/mosquito and check out a link in the top left corner that will show you how to find mosquito larvae and pupae in outdoor containers. For more information about mosquito prevention and protection, visit volusia.org/mosquito.

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