There are three main types of mosquitoes.
- The permanent pool mosquitoes reproduce in relatively small numbers in permanent bodies of water such as lakes and ponds.
- The floodwater mosquitoes lay their eggs on low-lying dry soil and will hatch when the areas flood (the eggs can survive for more than two years while waiting for proper conditions).
- The container breeding mosquitoes prefer stagnant water and include the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens, the main vector of West Nile Virus and St. Louis Encephalitis, and the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, a potential vector for Zika virus.
Neither the northern house mosquito nor the Asian tiger mosquito travel very far, typically no more than half a mile. Because of this, efforts to reduce mosquitoes around your home neighborhood can greatly reduce their populations. After getting an adequate blood meal, adult female mosquitoes will lay eggs in any stagnant water source. Therefore, removal of as many water sources as possible from yards and communities will help to reduce populations. They can develop in as little as one cup of water.
- Make sure to clean out gutters so they don't clog and hold water.
- Replace water in birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
- If you have drip trays under potted plants make sure to empty them frequently as well.
- If you have an ornamental/garden pond stock it with minnows or other surface feeding fish that will eat mosquito larvae (unfortunately koi won't help, they're vegetarians).
- Ornamental/garden ponds can also be treated with BTi (Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis) which is available as donuts, briquettes, granules, and can provide larval control for a month or more.
- If you have a swimming pool make sure it is cleaned and chlorinated.
- Make sure to get rid of, or put drainage holes in old tires, tin cans, abandoned cars, and ceramic pots.
- Basically, anything that is capable of holding water needs to be emptied frequently and regularly, as it takes mosquito larvae 5-7 days to develop into adults.
Read more at Ken Johnson's Good Growing blog.