Hillsborough County spotlights ways to reduce pesky mosquitoes during National Mosquito Control Awareness Week

It's a delicate balance of scientific controls and resident participation to help battle the more than 40 species of mosquitoes that reside in Hillsborough County.

June 16-22 is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, and the County's Mosquito Management team is asking residents to pay attention to the small things everyone can do to help reduce the populations of the nuisance and potentially disease-transmitting flying insect.

Breeding grounds

One of the most prevalent locations for mosquitoes to take up residence and multiply is in standing water around homes. Many bothersome mosquitoes typically only travel a few hundred feet from their breeding site, and sprays are only a temporary solution - once they wear off in a few hours the mosquitoes are back.

Residents can do the following to help eliminate mosquito egg-laying sites around homes and reduce the numbers of mosquitoes in their neighborhoods.

  • Clean out rain gutters and downspouts regularly. Clogged gutters are one of the most overlooked breeding sites for mosquitoes around homes.
  • Empty and turn over containers that hold water, such as cans, jars, drums, bottles, flower pots, buckets, children's toys, wheel barrows, garbage can lids, small boats or canoes, old appliances, and plastic sheeting or tarps used to cover objects like grills or swimming pools.
  • Drain or get rid of old tires by recycling them. Tires can breed thousands of mosquitoes.
  • Change the water and clean out pet dishes and bird baths frequently. Flush out bromeliad plants weekly. Mosquitoes can develop from eggs to adults in as little as four days.

Mosquito Control Unit

During its routine operations, the Mosquito Control Unit follows the practices of Integrated Mosquito Management, which uses scientifically based preventative methods first before turning to insecticides to spray. These methods include biological controls, mosquito trapping for inspection purposes, sentinel chickens to monitor for diseases, and other methods to reduce places where mosquitoes breed. Other methods involve identification and destruction of mosquito larva, public education, and coordination with code enforcement agencies.

For more information on the Hillsborough County Mosquito Control Unit and tips on preventing or reducing mosquitoes, visit HCFL.Gov/Mosquito.