The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Mosquito Control Program is urging residents to take action to reduce mosquito populations by eliminating standing water on their properties. Mosquitoes can carry various diseases that can be harmful to humans and animals, including West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

“Protect yourself and others from mosquito-borne diseases by eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites on your property,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks.

Mosquitoes can live for several weeks, including the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which is Maryland’s biggest nuisance. The small black insects have a white stripe on the back and white spots on the legs and do not fly very far, usually less than 500 feet. By eliminating their breeding locations, you may get rid of them in your yard. Asian Tiger Mosquitos breed in anything that holds rainwater, including toys, tarps, abandoned swimming pools, and plastic gutter extenders, which hold water in their ribbing and curves.

The department recommends covering gutter extenders with fine mesh material and rubber bands and cleaning out the leaves and debris twice a year. For items that hold water but cannot be dumped, residents can consider using a biorational larvicide such as Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Torpedoes to kill only mosquito larvae. These pesticides are available at most hardware stores and other retailers, and it’s essential to read the label of all pesticides before use.

It is crucial to start before mosquitoes become adults. To eliminate potential breeding grounds, residents should act now and spend at least five minutes each week addressing standing water on their properties. This small effort can greatly reduce the number of biting mosquitoes in your yard.

For more helpful tips and information, residents can visit the MDA’s Mosquito Control Program webpage. Additionally, the Maryland Department of Health’s website provides information on mosquito-borne diseases and West Nile virus.

Prevention is the most effective way to avoid mosquito-borne diseases, and reducing mosquito populations is a vital component. Residents should take steps to eliminate standing water on their properties to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the area.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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