MDARD offers tips for mosquito, tick control
LANSING -- With warmer summer weather finally here, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development urged Michiganders to remember to take precautions against mosquitoes, ticks and the diseases they carry.
Insect repellents applied to the skin are one of the most popular and effective products used to avoid insect bites. Other commonly used repellents include torches, table-top diffusers, candles and coils. When used as directed, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women:
• Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
• Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
• Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
Larvicides and adulticides also can provide temporary control of mosquitoes. Larvicides are products designed to be applied directly to water to control mosquito larvae.
Adulticides are used in fogging and spraying to control adult mosquitoes.
Both options can temporarily reduce the mosquito population in your area, but do not provide long-term solutions against mosquitos.
Whether you use an insect repellent or insecticide, always remember to read and follow all label directions.
A safe alternative to applying insecticides yourself is hiring a mosquito control business. Mosquito control businesses are required to be licensed to apply pesticides in Michigan and must meet certain financial and experience requirements including proof of insurance, meet certain experience requirements, and employ certified pesticide applicators who have passed MDARD proficiency examinations.
Other steps to take to safely reduce mosquito populations include:
• Removing any puddles of water or standing water around your home to reduce breeding sites.
• Keeping grass and shrubs trimmed short, reducing places for flying (adult) mosquitoes to rest.
• Using permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
For more information, visit Michigan.gov/MDARD.