While most people expect that the end of summer means the death of mosquitoes, the fact is that they survive throughout the year, simply going dormant during the winter. And because the idea of “winter” in Texas is relative in comparison to the incredibly hot summers, even the winter months can bring weather that is unseasonably warm filled with rain and flooding. Because of the humidity combined with warmth, the weather conditions in Houston in the winter are ideal for breeding the more than 80 aggressive species of mosquitoes that reside in the area.
Not just relegated to being irritating pests, mosquitoes are tiny little beasts that can be carriers of extremely dangerous, even fatal, diseases. Houston residents (humans as well as pets) may be at risk of several different illnesses which are carried by mosquitoes, some of which feed both during the day and at night. Viruses including yellow fever, Zika Virus, malaria, Dengue fever, and West Nile Virus are easily carried by mosquitoes and passed on to humans or pets. Dog heartworm, and even encephalitis, are other dangerous disease which can also be carried by these blood sucking insects. And although they are less prolific in winter, the cooler temperatures are a good time to think about maintenance on your property to control mosquitoes.
Mosquito Control Options
Standing water promotes breeding of mosquitoes as this is the ideal place for adult female mosquitoes to lay their eggs so that they can be nourished. This may not only be typical water such as swimming pools or ponds, but also items in your yard that may have collected water during the winter, such as barbeque grill covers, gutters, birdbaths, flowerpots, sand boxes, or other unsuspecting vessels.
Mosquito Misting System
The simplest, most convenient mosquito control service can be provided through the installation of a mosquito misting system which encompasses the outdoor areas of the home. The system works on a timer in order to release mosquito treatments at a predetermined schedule at a time which is ideal for your family as well as safe. This avoids the need for regular manual mosquito treatment, as the misting system is completely automated for hassle-free home mosquito control.
If you are not quite convinced about a mosquito misting system, or you are planning an outdoor even that requires special attention to a specific area, backyard fogging may be a great solution. For those who want to set up a long term schedule, a typical residential backyard fogging program will send a technician to your home every three weeks in order to space fog the area. And for those who just need a bit of a stop gap, stand-alone services may be provided for special events such as block parties or weddings.
Although many adult mosquitoes may reach the end of their lives in winter time, the species continues on as the females proactively lay their eggs in standing bodies of water where they can sit dormant for weeks or months, until the weather is ready for them to thaw out and become active again. While ridding your property of unnecessary standing water is first, other areas such as storm drains, fish ponds, and retention ponds can be protected by minimizing the population through a larvicide program. This type of program works to actively reduce the life of the mosquito eggs before they can grow to adulthood.
While it might seem that thoughts of home mosquito control may be best left for the summer, winter time is a significant opportunity to address underlying issues which may be attracting mosquitoes while proactively treating the problem before the weather warms up.