Container-Breeding Mosquitoes

depositphotos_23194366_s-2015Certain species of mosquitoes breed in containers. Have you ever noticed squirmy little things in your birdbath? Or in other standing water? Maybe an old tire? Or in a glass jar sitting outside filled with water? Those are mosquito larvae. Adult container-breeding mosquitoes lay eggs wherever water collects. There are 13 species of container-breeding mosquitoes. A few are found statewide in Florida.

 

Several types of mosquitoes act as vectors. They carry pathogens (bacteria and viruses) that can cause diseases in people such as Zika, yellow fever, dengue, St. Louis encephalitis, and West Niles virus. To stop container-breeding mosquitoes from thriving in your birdbath, clean it out at least once a week. During the hot and humid months in Florida, the news and weather reporters will often remind us not to allow standing water to remain in our yards. We can help stop the breeding.

 

There are several major container-breeding mosquitoes in Florida including the nematode and Wiedemann that cause heartworm in dogs. The Wiedemann mosquito can bite day or night. It is primarily a coastal species but can be found inland as a container-breeder as well. One thing is for sure, mosquitoes love water. You can help by locating their breeding spots and eliminate them:

 

LOCATION SOLUTION
Potted plants with pans Do not overwater, remove pans if possible.
Drainage ditches Remove vegetation and obstructions to water flow
Low spots that hold water Fill and regrade
Plugged roof gutters Keep gutters clean
Pet dishes Change water frequently
Trash piles Remove or cover
Stored tires Remove or cover
Poorly maintained pools Follow recommended maintenance
Bromeliads Flush to remove larvae
Debris on roof Remove debris
Ponds Keep clean, stock with fish
Boats Cover or turn upside down
Bird baths Flush at least once per week
Discarded containers Dispose properly