As temperatures continue to rise, so will the number of mosquitoes throughout the state. The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s mosquito control program urges residents to take measures on their own property to help reduce mosquito populations.
Aside from being a nuisance, mosquitoes can carry harmful diseases like West Nile virus.
“The best way to avoid mosquito-borne disease is to prevent mosquito bites, and the best way to avoid bites is to eliminate areas where mosquitoes lay their eggs,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “This time of year, it is important to survey our yards and eliminate any potential breeding sites.”
Maryland’s most common nuisance mosquito is the Aedes albopictus or Asian tiger mosquito. This invasive species is active during the day and can be particularly aggressive.
Aedes mosquitoes breed in containers of standing water rather than marshlands. Items like lawn furniture, corrugated drain pipes, flower pots, children’s toys and a variety of common household items can quickly become mosquito breeding grounds.
It is vital that all Marylanders survey their property and drain or eliminate anything where water can pool. Some tips include:
Identify any item on your property that retains even the smallest amount of water. After dumping or treating the water, either store the item somewhere dry or discard. Click here for a list of common items that can hold water.
Remove corrugated drain pipe from downspouts and consider replacing it with smooth PVC piping. Each corrugation is a potential breeding ground. If removal isn’t possible, use screening to cover openings.
Properly store children’s toys, especially plastic toys that have small areas where water can sit.
Store containers, including buckets, pales, water bottles, storage totes, recycling containers, etc, where they cannot collect rain water. Keep trash cans and rain barrels covered.
The department has produced a series of video PSAs on eliminating breeding zones. For more helpful tips and information, visit the program’s website. For more information on mosquito-borne disease and human health, visit the Maryland Department of Health.