Using Combination Chemistry to Help Customers Reclaim their Outdoor Living Spaces
Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. The first step in a mosquito management program is to assess the areas where they could be breeding/completing their development. Removing standing water where mosquitos prefer to lay eggs and complete their development, you can stop some species of mosquitoes from using the property to breed. It only takes about ¼” of water for these mosquitoes to complete their life cycle, so it is important to be thorough in your inspection and removal. Common containers where mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs include birdbaths, old tires, buckets, pails, children’s toys, tarps, and plant trays.
Regardless of what type of mosquito management program a PMP offers, the goal is to minimize the number of biting mosquitoes. Property owners want to reclaim their outdoor living spaces and avoid aggressive biting mosquitoes. Most people recognize there is a connection between mosquitos and water, but don’t understand the specifics of what is needed for mosquitoes to complete their life cycle to become biting adults. It is our job to help to explain the connection and to help property owners manage the standing water and reduce mosquito breeding.
By utilizing the most effective science and products available to the industry, Combination Chemistry, Pest management professionals have access to products with multiple active ingredients that work to disrupt the development and survival of undesired pests.
Here are 7 tips to help you manage mosquitoes using Combination Chemistry and ultimately to reduce the number of call-backs you receive.
- Start with a thorough inspection. By completing an extensive inspection of the property, you will be able to identify the areas where adults are resting, and larvae are potentially developing. A good inspection will also allow you to identify remedial actions your customer can take to remove these areas.
- Address breeding areas. Most mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed and can usually survive in water deeper than about 1/2”. As often as possible, find and eliminate these breeding areas. Check for standing water in drains, gutters, downspouts, plant sauces, buckets, children toys, etc. and remove these potential breeding sites when possible. If these areas are not able to be removed, treat them with an appropriate larvicide.
- Utilize an IGR in your barrier applications. IGRs like Tekko Pro provide long lasting benefits for mosquito management. Larvae can be affected by very little product, lengthening the reach of your application and reducing the overall numbers of flying adults. Additionally, by using a Combination Chemistry® product such as Proflex, PMPs can use a single product, know they are mixing correctly and extend the life of their treatments. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of applications that are necessary and avoid call backs. Avoid the “I’ve always used this method of control for every job” mentality – don’t be afraid to try something new!
- Focus treatment on areas where mosquitoes are likely to spend the day at rest. When not biting, female mosquitoes prefer to rest in shaded, cool areas with little wind movement. In the typical urban environment, this can mean under carports, in culverts, and in deep, dense vegetation. Be sure your application is reaching the areas you believe the mosquitoes are spending their non-biting hours.
- Perform a thorough treatment. As mentioned above, be sure your application is reaching the resting areas, but also consider where in the environment the mosquitoes are resting. Inspect the property thoroughly! Don’t just focus on the top sides of leaves and vegetation – as well as under decks and other structural components - mosquitoes can rest on the underside too!
- Consider breeding areas in communal areas. Where are mosquitoes breeding outside of the property owner’s control? What options do you have for affecting those populations? This might be an opportunity to work with city, state, or local municipalities or a home owners association to impact populations over a larger area.
- Stay compliant. Be sure you know and understand your local and state laws and regulations that pertain to mosquito control. Know the product(s) you are using and be sure you have read and understand the product label(s).