26August 29, 2012
With all the talk about mosquito borne illnesses and ticks causing Lyme disease, you may not want to go outside of your home. There are things that you can do in your own yard to help to reduce these two problems.
Let’s start with the mosquito problem. Almost every yard can be a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in areas of stagnant water. This could be a low spot in your gutters where water does not fully drain away. It could be that old kiddy pool that is sitting out back. It could be an old bucket left outside, an old tire, a water garden that does not have any fish in it to eat the mosquito larvae, a bird bath or a rain barrel. All these areas are breeding grounds where eggs are laid and the mosquito larvae hatch out and soon turn into adult mosquitoes. If you empty out these containers and put them away, you will be decreasing the number of breeding areas. In those areas where you cannot empty the water, there is a product called Mosquito Dunks. This product is shaped like a small donut. It contains a bacterium called Bti. This bacterium will only kill mosquito larvae. The dunks are placed in the areas of stagnant water. Over a period of 30 days, it releases the bacterium that kills the mosquito larvae. Each dunk will cover an area of 100 sq. ft. By using this product in your yard, you can decrease the number of biting mosquitoes.
There is an increase in the number of people who contract Lyme disease each year. You should apply an insect repellent whenever you are going out into tall grassy areas or wooded areas. The tick that carries this disease can also be in your yard. The ticks that carry this disease get the disease from the mice that are running around in your yard. There has been a lot of talk about ridding yards of mice. Have you ever tried to get rid of mice in your yard? Not an easy task. On the other hand, you could use the mice to kill the ticks. There is a product called Damminix. The product consists of biodegradable cardboard tubes filled with cotton balls. The cotton balls are treated with an insecticide called permethrin. The tubes are placed around the yard where the mice will find the cotton balls that are inside the tube. The cotton balls make great bedding material for the mice. The permethrin is released onto the fur of the mouse. As the ticks try to feed on the mouse, the insecticide kills the ticks. The insecticide does not harm the mouse. This turns the mouse into a mobile tick killer. Many of my customers have used this product over the years and they have seen a decrease in ticks in their yards. Damminix is applied in the spring and again in the late summer or early fall. Now is the time to get the tubes in place to take advantage of power of this product to control the ticks that carry Lyme disease.
Now is also the time of the year when mice start to look for a place to spend the winter. I have talked to you before about a product called Mouse Magic. It consists of packets that you place around your home, shed, barns or any area where mice may want to nest. Each packet releases a scent that the mice find unappealing. Each packet works for 30 to 45 days. If you start using this product now, you will be able to keep mice from nesting in your home.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.