The Fairfield Health Department wants you to know it’s “Tip or Treat” season. Mosquitos breed in standing water from May until October and just a few of these water areas in your yard can go on to be responsible for millions and millions of mosquitos. Right now is the time to put a stop to that by going outside today or this weekend, but don’t wait!
So what should you do? You can “Tip” over anything that holds water and eliminate these items for the season. You can “Treat” those areas that can’t be eliminated with a mosquito larvicide such as BTI, which is available at local hardware or home improvement stores and online. By tipping or treating now and throughout the mosquito season, you can greatly reduce the presence of mosquitos and the diseases they can transmit through their bites.
Any standing water which lasts for more than one week can become a mosquito breeding site.
Here are some “Tip or Treat” tricks to consider:
• Dispose of cans, buckets, beverage bottles, other plastic containers, flower pots, discarded tires, old toys or any other water holding containers on your property.
• Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.
• Drill drainage holes if possible in toys or tires used on the property.
• Store plastic wading pools upside down, on edge or in garage/shed when not in use.
• Turn over or remove clay pots that hold water.
• Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, equipment, etc. Arrange the tarp to drain the water.
• Pump out bilges in boats. Turn canoes, kayaks and other small boats upside down for storage.
• Replace water in bird baths at least once a week.
• Remove pet water bowls that are not being used.
• Don't leave garbage cans uncovered or lids lying upside down. Empty any water that has collected in the bottom of garbage cans.
• Ensure your recycling bin and contents and not have standing water.
• Flush water in the bottom of exterior plant holders once a week.
• Fix dripping outside water faucets creating wet areas.
• Turn wheelbarrows upside down when stored outside.
• Check any construction or home improvement areas on your property to ensure that proper backfilling and grading prevent any stagnant water.
• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Fish eat mosquito larvae.
• Look for tree holes/hollows and other water-holding part of trees and drain, treat or fill these areas.
• If roadside areas or ditches do not flow and contain stagnant water for one week or longer, they can produce large numbers of mosquitoes. Report such conditions to the Public Works Department.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. Mosquitoes may breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers. Report any uncovered abandoned pools to the Health Department.
• For any other potential breeding areas on your property that cannot be eliminated, treat with the non-toxic larvicide BTI that is available at many hardware or home improvement stores. Treatment with BTI usually has to be applied every 30 days.
• Residents with properties abutting saltmarsh areas are encouraged not to discard yard waste such as leaves and grass clipping into the marshes as this can block drainage and create mosquito breeding areas that directly impact all properties in the area.
• Brooks, streams or ponds that have a flow or have fish in them are not potential breeding sites.
According to Sands Cleary, Fairfield’s Health Director, “Now is the time to take action to make the summer safer and more enjoyable for you, your family and your neighborhood.” Feel free to call the Health Department at 203-256-3020 with any questions or watch our video on Mosquitos at www.fairfieldct.org/health-videos.
Contact: Santina Jaronko, MS, CHES - Health Educator
Photo source: Wikipedia