Sunday, November 27, 2016

With the current Zika scare, it's important to remember a few things:

"Zika Mosquitoes" are not permanent water mosquitoes.  They do not utilize swamps, wetlands or vernal pools.  There are two species referred to loosely as "Zika Mosquito" -  Aedes aegypti which came to the Americas with the slave trade, also known as the Yellow Fever Mosquito, and Aedes albopictus which arrived in the United States with the shipment of tires, and is also known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito.  Both of these species are tree-hole mosquitoes in their native range, and because they utilize such tiny and transient pockets of water, have adapted very well to our urban landscapes. 

The first step in any Integrated Pest Management regimen is to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between the pest and the habitat.  There is no chance of pest outbreak without the presence of suitable habitat and ample food, and an outbreak is the insect's natural response to the extra provisions.

If you live within the current Zika mosquito range, they are likely breeding in your yard - it's as simple as that.  The tricycle seat where water gathers after a rain, the little folds in your tarps, wheel barrels, buckets, garden tools, watering pails, rain gutters, used tires, tire swings.  The water collecting trays under your potted plants are a favorite - turn those things over. 

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