Mosquitoes aren’t only itchy and irritating but they can also spread a range of deadly diseases to humans. Some of these illnesses are common and even fatal, such as West Nile Virus (WNV).
The City of Oklahoma City partners OKC Mosquito Militia Total Pest Control with our residents to fight mosquito-borne illnesses. It monitors the threat locally by exchanging information with local physicians, the state Health Department, CDC and Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.
What is Mosquito Spraying?
Mosquitoes are a nuisance that can impact your quality of life and pose a health risk. Their bites can cause itchy red welts and carry diseases like West Nile virus.
The best way to control mosquitoes is by reducing their breeding sites. This includes eliminating standing water in your yard that can hold moisture and keep mosquitoes alive.
Another important step is repairing screens, using insect repellents when you’re outside and minimizing your exposure to outdoor surfaces. You can also use mosquito dunks or products containing the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis to kill mosquito larvae in your yard.
Some pesticides used for spraying, such as pyrethroids, can be toxic to pets and wildlife. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. They can also wash into surface waters, where they can poison fish and other aquatic organisms.
Does Mosquito Spraying Kill Mosquitoes?
While mosquito sprays will kill adult mosquitoes on contact, most municipal and air-borne spraying programs fail to target and kill all the adult mosquitoes that enter the area. This is because the tiny droplets of insecticide that sprays use must be able to float in the air and move with the wind so they don’t hit the insects directly.
Mosquito control sprays are commonly made up of insecticides that either contain pyrethrum, the natural chemical found in chrysanthemum flowers, or a combination of pyrethrum and synthetic pyrethrum known as pyrethroids. They are toxic to many different types of insects including mosquitoes and can be extremely harmful to pollinators.
Most commercial and residential pest control companies use a variety of insecticides that are toxic to mosquitoes and other insects in their sprays. While these pesticides are regulated and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, they can have negative environmental impacts as well as health effects for people who breathe them in.
Does Mosquito Spraying Work?
While many Oklahomans love spending time in the backyard, enjoying nature with family and friends, mosquitoes can ruin a day of fun by biting and causing itchy bites. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the number of these pests around your home.
One of the most effective ways to control mosquitoes is to remove their breeding sites — places where they can lay eggs and develop into biting adults. Mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water such as rivers, ponds, and lakes, so make sure that your yard has no areas where there is standing water or puddles of rainwater on the ground.
Another important way to prevent mosquitoes is to clean up clogged rain gutters, unclog downspouts, and repair leaky outdoor plumbing fixtures. Also, change the water daily in bird baths and pet water bowls to avoid mosquitoes laying eggs in them.
Finally, mosquito traps are an effective tool in controlling mosquitoes on your property. These specialized devices lure in female mosquitoes and deliver a larvicide to prevent them from laying more eggs.
Does Mosquito Spraying Kill Diseases?
The best way to control mosquitoes is by keeping your yard free of standing water, trash, broken down washing machines, junk cars, and other items that may attract mosquitoes. This is called Integrated Pest Management.
Using an array of methods, local government departments and mosquito control professionals work to reduce the number of mosquitoes and to prevent the spread of germs. These efforts include mosquito trapping and testing, community education, reduction and abatement of standing water, and spraying when necessary.
Mosquito spraying is a quick way to kill adult mosquitoes and help prevent disease. However, spraying can cause serious harm to people and the environment if we don’t take precautions when it’s applied. It is a good idea to stay indoors during spraying and to keep windows closed for about 30 minutes after it’s completed.