Summer provides a great time to participate in a variety of outdoor activities. Unwelcome mosquitoes, however, can make many outdoor activities less enjoyable. Familiarity with basic mosquito biology and some simple precautions can help reduce the negative impacts of mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes complete the early stages of their life cycle in stagnant water in places ranging from ponds, marshy areas, and irrigated pasturelands, to gutters, cavities in trees, and bird baths. During the summer, nearly any water left standing for at least one week can provide suitable conditions for larval mosquitoes to develop into adults.
Adult female mosquitoes take blood meals from vertebrate hosts to obtain protein required for egg production. In addition to causing an irritating allergic reaction, mosquito bites can facilitate disease transmission. West Nile virus is an example of a disease transmitted by mosquitoes in the Salt Lake Valley.
The South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District (SSLVMAD) seeks to promote public health and quality of life by reducing the number of larval mosquitoes that develop to the adult stage. District technicians regularly inspect known larval mosquito habitats in the Salt Lake Valley and apply mosquito control measures as needed. Treatments targeting adult mosquitoes are also applied when appropriate.
You can help control the population of mosquitoes by:
• Eliminating unnecessary standing water from your property.
• Emptying and refreshing desirable standing water at least weekly.
• Treating livestock watering troughs and ornamental ponds with mosquito control products or fish (this service is available free of charge from the SSLVMAD).
• Reporting other standing water to the SSLVMAD.
Additionally, the following suggestions can help you avoid being bitten by mosquitoes:
• Use mosquito repellents approved by the Environmental Protection Agency according to instructions on the product label.
• Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible when outdoors.
• Avoid outdoor activities during times of peak mosquito activity (between dusk and dawn for several species of mosquitoes, including disease vectors known to occur in Utah).
The South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District would like to wish everyone a safe and pleasant summer. For additional information about mosquitoes and mosquito control, or to submit a request for service, please visit www.sslvmad.org