Dump standing water now to prevent mosquitoes later!
After so much rain, many of us are hoping for a few sunny days to spend time outside. If you are spending time in your yard, please check around your yard and home for any containers holding water. Dump out standing water to prevent mosquito breeding. Check for water in plant saucers, buckets, tires, barrels, folds in tarps and grill covers, and any place where water can collect!
As the weather warms and the rain slows, remember to dump out water at least once a week. In warm weather, a mosquito can grow from egg to adult in as little as one week!
Check your rain barrel screens and covers
Rain barrels are a great way to store water for drier times. They are also a great spot for mosquitoes to complete their life cycle. Check your rain barrel screen to be sure there are no tears, holes, or gaps where a small mosquito can enter to lay her eggs. Screens should be fine mesh, and all openings need to be covered to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
If you notice mosquito larvae in your rain barrel, you have a few options. You can fix the screen and securely cover any openings with fine mesh screening to prevent mosquitoes from entering and exiting. You can also place a 'mosquito dunk' in your barrel. Mosquito dunks can be purchased at your local hardware/outdoor/garden store. These dunks contain Bti (Bacillus thuringensis israelis), a type of bacteria that specifically targets mosquito larvae. The Bti typically lasts about 1 month, so you will need to add a dunk each month until you are able to securely cover your barrel. Bti will not harm people, pets and other animals, aquatic life, or other insects, including honeybees.
If you are not sure if little wiggly things in your rain barrel water are mosquito larvae, you can call us! One of our certified technicians can stop by to check and help you with a custom solution for your rain barrel. Your taxes pay for our services, so there is no charge for us to stop by to check. You can fill out a service request HERE or give us a call at 650-344-8592.
Every summer, we hire several seasonal staff who are responsible for treating storm drains and catch basins throughout warmer months. These staff are essential to controlling the mosquito species (Culex pipiens) most likely to spread West Nile virus in our county. You may have seen previous years' staff in our recognizable white Jeeps. If protecting public health is a job you'd like, consider applying for one of these positions HERE.