Source reduction is exactly what it says, removing or eliminating sources that are currently breeding mosquitoes or have the potential to breed mosquitoes.
The task of source reduction can be something as simple as turning over containers that are holding water or time consuming labor including mowing lakebeds/perimeters, digging ditches to divert standing water or herbiciding lakes and roadside ditch lines.
Property owners can do their own source reduction by checking their property for potential breeding sites and keeping grass and weeds mowed.
An all-too-common breeding site for the Asian Tiger (Aedes. albopictus) mosquito is discarded tires. Tires on private property should be covered or kept in sheltered areas where they will not hold water. Tires are a huge mosquito control headache raising mosquito species in areas that may not normally be a problem.
Residents are encouraged to take discarded tires to the landfill for proper disposal. Seminole County offers FREE disposal days for its citizens. These days are offered in addition to regular facility operating hours and programs. This Tire Amnesty Day is offered 4 days a year.
Herbiciding is an important aspect of source reduction. In many instances there may be natural water bodies (lakes, creeks) that have an abundance of natural predators present, but they are unable to keep the mosquito population at bay due to vegetation growing in or around the water body. Certain species of mosquito larvae either attach themselves directly to plant roots or hide in between the dense vegetation making them inaccessible to predators or larvicides. In these cases, it's necessary to use herbicides to eliminate the vegetation present.
Herbicide is also used to eliminate excessive vegetation that may be growing along roadside ditch lines, prime targets for breeding sites after heavy rains and flooding. Manicured ditch lines provide little shelter for mosquitoes and give larvicides or biological control agents full access to any larvae or pupae that may be present.
Standing water in backyard low spots, puddles, buckets, flower pots, trash cans and the like can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Seminole County Mosquito Control reminds residents to continue to take precautions including following the 4 Ds of prevention:
Drain all standing water around your house weekly
Dusk & Dawn are when mosquitoes are most active, so limit outdoor activities at those times
DEET is an effective ingredient in insect repellants—follow label instructions carefully
Dress in long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where there is a lot of mosquito activity.