Each spring, mosquito populations begin to build and homeowners begin exploring their options for keeping their own properties as mosquito-free as possible during the summer season.
Clarke got its start providing mosquito control services 75 years ago. Here is what our operational experts think you should know when considering hiring a mosquito control service for your home:
- Eliminate standing water first so mosquitoes can’t breed.
- Look into all the different service companies providing mosquito control services in your community.
- Understand the different application types and what you prefer.
- Make sure service providers are using EPA-registered mosquito control products.
ELIMINATE STANDING WATER TO PREVENT MOSQUITO BREEDING
The very first and most effective thing you can do to fight mosquitoes on your property is get rid of standing water sources around your home. And…it’s free!
Even a small amount of water left standing for a few days in a child’s toy or in the base of a planter can be enough for some species to lay eggs in. But, eliminate the water, and mosquitoes can’t breed.
If you have a water source that can’t be easily emptied, like a decorative pond or rain barrel, consider treating that water source with an extended control larvicide tablet. These products prevent mosquito larvae from becoming biting adults. There are several on the market for consumer purchase, and Clarke makes one too called Natular DT.
ASSESS YOUR OPTIONS FOR MOSQUITO SERVICE COMPANIES
A quick Google search will produce a list of several companies providing residential mosquito control services in your community. You’ll find local landscapers, national franchise lawn care businesses, general pest control companies, and of course, specialized mosquito control businesses, all offering solutions for mosquito nuisance relief and disease prevention.
Consider what matters to you as you evaluate these options. Price only? Products used? Having a method of treatment appropriate for your property? Ability to offer notification in advance of each application? Looking for a one-time service or routine, scheduled treatments? Knowing what you prioritize is the first step to choosing the right service provider.
UNDERSTAND MOSQUITO CONTROL APPLICATION METHODS
Typically, residential property treatments include a barrier application, which applies an EPA-registered insecticide through a backpack to the foliage around your property. This is where adult mosquitoes harbor during daytime hours. Residues from this insecticide will remain on the plant foliage and provide mosquito control for 7 to 21 days, depending on what type of product is used, what dose is applied, and, of course, weather conditions. Average lot sizes in suburban communities are about 1/2 acre. For this size of property, barrier applications will typically be recommended.
Larger properties may also include a ULV spray application. This is different from barrier treatments. ULV treatments are done by mounting an ultra-low-volume sprayer to an ATV with turf-friendly tires and spraying a fine mist of an EPA-registered insecticide into the air. The mist is made up of tiny droplets that move through the air in order to make contact with adult mosquitoes in-flight. This type of treatment is highly effective for quickly taking down mosquito populations, but it does not provide any extended control.
Some companies also offer repellents in a residential service package. Essential oil blends or even garlic treatments are common repellent solutions. Keep in mind the purpose of a repellent is to keep mosquitoes away for a period of time. They will not reduce populations.
ASSESS THE MOSQUITO CONTROL PRODUCTS THEY USE
All products for mosquito control are not created equal and there are several options available today, including both EPA and non-EPA registered products (essential oil blends are an example of a non-EPA registered option). The most important thing to verify is that a service provider is using EPA-registered insecticides, and applying them according to the label. In order to be registered with the EPA, all products go through rigorous testing and are evaluated to be sure that when used according to the label, there is a reasonable certainty of safety to humans, animals, and the environment from their use. The labeling on EPA-registered products tells applicators how, when, where, and at what rate the product needs to be applied to work as designed.
Additionally, only EPA-registered products are required to prove their performance against mosquitoes. EPA-registered products must demonstrate that they can kill at least three of the most prevalent species of mosquitoes in the U.S., in at least five different geographic locations, and for the length of time the manufacturer claims.
Ultimately, using EPA-registered products ensures that the product has been fully assessed, will be safe to use on your property, and will do its job.
Want more information on how Clarke approaches residential mosquito control in the communities we serve?
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