|This Month's Topic!|
Fleas and ticks aren’t the only blood suckers after our best friends. Mosquitoes are making the news lately with new outbreaks of Dengue Fever in our area. While not so old reports of Yellow Fever, Malaria, and West Nile Virus (Encephalitis’ evil step sister) are still fresh in our memories. Although animals do contract some of the same illnesses as humans, Fido doesn’t care about any of that; he just doesn’t want to get heartworms from the little buggers.
While not-so-old reports of Yellow Fever, Malaria, and West Nile Virus (Encephalitis’ evil step sister) are still fresh in our memories, mosquitoes are making the news lately with new outbreaks of Dengue Fever in our area. Although animals do contract some of the same illnesses as humans, Fido doesn’t care about any of that; he just doesn’t want to get heartworms from the little buggers.
What to do?What is a pet owner to do? First thing is to break the cycle and stop raising mosquitoes in your yard. They require standing water to breed.
Empty anything that holds water in your yard, such as: trash cans, buckets, wading pools, plant saucers, wheelbarrows, and such; rinse and refill bird baths and pet bowls often; get rid of old tires, bottles, jars and tin cans; repair leaky pipes and outside faucets; clean clogged gutters and make sure they are sloped for proper drainage; remove aerial ponds in plants that grow on trees – such as bromeliads; and fill holes in trees with sand or mortar.
If the problem is a neighborhood issue, such as an abandoned pool or pond, call your County Mosquito Control. They will investigate and treat the problem in many cases. They may spray with insecticide, treat standing water with bactericide or insect growth regulating products, and may even stock pools and ponds with mosquito larva-eating fish.
You can also use repellants, but be leery of most of the old wives tales that don’t work or are of minimal benefit. Save your money on electronic zappers and sonic repellers; they have not proven to be of benefit and can actually attract mosquitoes to your yard. It would take too many citronella candles to even think about it as a real solution. Off the shelf DEET-based repellants are effective, but always use them according to the label. Picaridin-based products are a safer substitute and are similarly effective.
So what is the solution for Fido and the family? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of pesticide, but when that doesn’t work, you need to call a professional. And, if you are like many of my customers that desire a safer and more natural approach, then they call me.
Owner of Advantage Pest Control of Florida