Skip to main content

Bee Safety and Mosquito Control

Bee Safety and Mosquito ControlAs the weather warms up and insect activity increases, both outdoor enthusiasts and casual lawn-goers alike are faced with similar challenges: how to manage mosquito populations without harming beneficial insects in the process. Protecting bees and other pollinators doesn’t require sacrificing your summer to the indoors, or risking discomfort and disease from feeding mosquitoes. Through incorporating preventative measures and the responsible application of products, it is possible to take your yard back from mosquitoes without dangerously impacting your local pollinators.


The Importance of Protecting Pollinators


The global decline in pollinator species -- both in diversity and population -- is widespread cause for concern. Insect pollinators play an essential role in the reproduction of many wild and food crop plant species, and bees in particular contribute to the success of the world’s most important human food crops. However, wild and domestic bee numbers have been dropping over the last decades, with losses as high as 54% in parts of Europe. Several causes are believed to contribute to pollinator decline: habitat loss, parasites and disease, improper pesticide application, and environmental damage have all been cited as factors. As a result, pollinator stewardship has emerged as a new conservation goal among landowners.


Human Health and Mosquito Control


Other human-insect interactions present more negative consequences. Itchy bites make mosquitoes an outdoor nuisance, but their ability to spread disease also makes mosquito control an issue of public health. Mosquito-borne diseases include the Zika virus, malaria, West Nile virus, several types of encephalitis, and dog heartworm. Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes kill humans and animals every year, and sustained mosquito management is necessary to prevent outbreaks. People can decrease exposure by wearing long clothing outdoors and screening areas indoors, but the most effective form of mosquito control is prevention. Mosquitoes need standing water to breed, and eliminating these breeding sites reduces populations around the home and work areas. Remove debris from ditches and yards, clean gutters, flip over or store objects that may hold rainwater, put drain holes in outdoor containers, and change the water in bird baths twice a week.


A Responsible Approach to Pesticide Application


Chemical mosquito abatement is also an option. Larvicidal products can be used to treat areas where standing water may gather, and the treatment either kills aquatic mosquito larvae or prevents them from emerging as adults. Adulticide is usually distributed as a fog; regardless of whether an adulticide is botanical or a conventional pesticide, it can be harmful to bees if applied incorrectly. Responsible, mosquito-targeted application is key to reducing dangerous insect populations while protecting bees and other pollinators. Flowering plants that attract pollinators can be covered or avoided during treatments, and the application should focus on foliage, the ground, and shady, dense areas that mosquitoes prefer. Understanding the life cycles of insects and how they interact with the environment helps reduce the amount of pesticide required to be successful, and a complete, integrated pest management system is always more effective than a chemical treatment alone.


Professional Solutions


With pollinator numbers dropping, it is more important than ever to protect our wild and domesticated bee species. At the same time, mosquito management for comfort and safety is an issue that impacts human health worldwide. Both concerns can be addressed through a combination of research, proactive measures, and the responsible application of the correct organic mosquito control treatment.


If mosquitoes are chasing you inside, but you’re reluctant to put your local bee population at risk, contact the integrated pest management professionals at Mosquito Tek of Norfolk. We are happy to arm you with knowledge and supply you with practical steps you can take to reduce pest populations around the home, plus supplement your actions with technology and products that may not be available to the public. Together, you and your neighborhood pollinators can both enjoy the summer.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

4 Ways to Protect Your Children from Mosquitoes

[caption id="attachment_3084" align="alignright" width="300"] Image courtesy of John Tann via Flickr CC by 2.0[/caption]

Mosquitoes carry a number of serious illnesses that can affect your children including West Nile virus, and St. Louis encephalitis. Mosquito bites can also make your children itchy and uncomfortable. One of the best ways to avoid the complications that come with mosquito bites is to help your children to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes completely.
Dress Your Children to Protect Them
Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, so you should dress your children in light colored clothes. Loose fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants can reduce the number of mosquito bites that your children receive. There is the option to treat the clothing with an insect repellent or to buy clothing that is already treated. This option is good if you know you are going into an area that is heavily populated with mosquitoes like on a camping trip, but it m…

A Guide to Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes have been plaguing people throughout all known time. Not only do they cause itchy bites that can be annoying, there are responsible for spreading a number of serious illnesses. The threat is so serious and ongoing that most communities and countries have extensive mosquito control programs which help to combat the outbreaks. There are still outbreaks each year in countries across the world of illnesses like Yellow fever and dengue fever. In order to combat mosquitoes, it is important to understand mosquitoes.

The Life Cycle of Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. After the eggs hatch, the mosquitoes are larvae and they spend time in the water until they become pupae and then hatch from that stage. At this point, the mosquitoes are adults and will begin flying around. The male mosquitoes feed on nectar, while the female mosquitoes need a blood meal so that they lay their eggs. Mosquitoes can lay up to two hundred eggs at a time.

Prevent Mosquitoes
Once you underst…

Commonly Asked Mosquito Questions

Mosquito season is just around the corner. The spring and summer months are the times when mosquitoes are most active. While mosquito bites can be annoying, the real issue is that mosquitoes can spread a number of serious illnesses. Here are some commonly asked questions about mosquitoes.

Is It Safe for My Baby to Wear Mosquito Repellent?
Babies as young as two months old can safely wear mosquito repellent. You will want to check with your physician to learn the kind that is best for your baby, and what concentration of DEET that is safe to use on someone that size. You may want to avoid taking your baby outside during peak mosquito times. You can also use mosquito netting around your baby as an extra protection.

What Types of Illnesses Can Mosquitoes Spread?
There are a number of different illnesses that mosquitoes can spread. In the United States some of the most common illnesses include the West Nile virus and St. Louise encephalitis. Around the world there are more serious illness…