Nicky Gallagher from Syngenta shares tips on mosquito prevention and treatment.
Mosquitoes can be an annoyance to homeowners and prevent them from fully enjoying their homes and outdoor areas. These insects can also carry diseases such as Dengue and Ross River viruses. Although complete mosquito eradication is not viable, it is possible to reduce mosquito populations to a level that can allow homeowners to enjoy their homes. Additionally, with few pest management companies offering mosquito services, you can differentiate your business with a practical option for increasing your company’s revenue.
Homeowner education is key
With the proper guidance and education, homeowners can be capable of taking the right precautionary steps to reduce mosquitoes around their homes. Backyards provide multiple locations for mosquitoes to breed, and by removing these sources, homeowners can have a more successful management program.
The American Mosquito Control Association recommends following the ‘three D’s’ of mosquito protection:
- Drain: empty water-filled containers on a weekly basis to prevent laying and remove mosquito eggs and larvae. Look up as well as down, as roof guttering and hanging pot plants also have pools of water for mosquitoes to lay eggs in and therefore also need to be drained.
- Defend: select a mosquito repellent that is registered by the APVMA to have minimal risk.
- Dress: choose to wear long sleeves and pants that are light in colour and loose fitting as studies have proven mosquitoes are more attracted to dark, fitted clothing.
Other tips include:
- Take care outside in environments with high propensity for pooling water. For example, plants such as bromeliads contain water in their base that can allow mosquitoes
- Fill plant pot saucers with fine grade sand to keep root moisture up without having open water for breeding mosquitoes.
- Position light traps away from living areas to keep mosquitoes away from people.Effective mosquito management programs require a true integrated approach to effectively suppress mosquito populations. Having a clear agreement between pest management professionals and their customers regarding the goals of the treatment and the responsibilities of both parties is an important part of any mosquito program.Be sure to engage your customers by providing educational resources, showing examples of mosquito breeding sites on their property and how to properly remove them. Avoid any claims of complete mosquito control or disease prevention claims.
Supplement education with effective products
Demand Insecticide is a great control option that can provide immediate and residual control of adult mosquitoes.
The active ingredient, lambda-cyhalothrin, is encapsulated within microcapsules (iCap technology) and protected from sunlight and surface pH extremes. This iCAP technology in Demand ensures it works successfully, as traditional pyrethroids tend to breakdown very quickly when under pressure from UV light.
Performance tests show three months residual on outdoor surfaces and up to 12 months on indoor surfaces. It is both the knockdown and residual aspects of Demand that allows it to provide excellent summer control of mosquitoes.
In order to provide a ‘Life Uninterrupted’ for your customers, we suggest that you offer a Demand mosquito spray as an add-on to your routine summer service calls.
Syngenta professional pest management is committed to keeping you informed about the latest developments and how to best manage mosquitoes around your customers’ homes.
Nicky Gallagher, Technical services manager, Syngenta professional pest management