Is your facility prepared to handle an influx of annoying, potentially dangerous mosquitoes? 2012 has been a hot year, and while extreme heat can impact mosquito populations, in some cases it can just delay infestations. Facilities with outdoor areas such as golf courses, restaurants, resorts, clubhouses, pool and recreation facilities are at the highest risk.
“Because we had a mild winter in many areas, population density is up, and mosquitoes will be active as long as the temperature and moisture levels are favorable,” says Paul Curtis, B.C.E., director of service quality for Terminix. “As a general rule, warmer temperatures decrease the time it takes for insects to reproduce, thus producing larger populations. For example, a common mosquito type in California might go through its life cycle in 14 days at 70 degrees, and take only 10 days at 80 degrees.”
Safety is an important consideration in mosquito control. West Nile virus and dengue fever are transmitted by mosquitoes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Florida has reported local cases of dengue for the first time in 75 years, as have states along the United States-Mexico border.
How can you handle the mosquito menace? Terminix offers some useful tips and tricks to beat the bugs:
•Maintain good sanitation around building structures and customer areas by eliminating areas with standing water.
•Minimize the number of stored and decorative items that can catch and hold water in and around the structure.
•Clean debris from gutters, and check for standing water on flat roofs of commercial buildings
•If your property features decorative ponds with fish, consider including fish such as the Gambusia affinis, which will eat mosquito larvae.
•Neatly trim bushes and other vegetation that can serve as a resting place for mosquitoes. Pest control professionals may also be able to make a topical application for control on landscaping.
•Maintain guest/resident comfort and peace-of-mind by choosing a mosquito control system with a powerful, natural plant-based formula. Safe and environmentally responsible solutions demonstrate your commitment to the planet and people.
•Tailor insect control systems to your needs – it’s no longer all or nothing. The new misting technology allows you to choose the level of protection that suits your outdoor business needs – continuous all-day misting or spot misting for special or limited use areas.
Be aware that certain conditions can lead to misquito problems even during traditional off seasons.
“Planted areas, atriums, offices and warehouses may sustain the lighting, moisture and temperature conditions to allow activity for some types of mosquitoes to continue year round, even though it is cold outside,” says Curtis.