The reason for this correlation is very simple: mosquito larvae develop in water.
This year, with the Zika virus looming on our doorstep, the mosquitoes we are most concerned about depend on small, contained water sources. The mosquito species that carry Zika can emerge from something as small as a bottle cap of water. They do not travel very far from their emergence site and feed exclusively on humans, so they only stick around populated areas. Fogging with adulticides or larvicides is not effective on these species, as it was with the West Nile mosquito. They are harder to reach and some only come out during the day, instead of the evening and mornings, to feed.
This is why the first and best line of defense we have against Zika is source reduction. If we can remove breeding sites in our neighborhoods, we can reduce the mosquito population where it matters most: close to home.
The following items can be mosquito breeding grounds. Consider dumping the water as we continue to get rain, or treat the water with mosquito dunks.
- Trash: bottles, old tires, broken equipment/pots/tools, ect
- Buckets and watering cans
- Plant drip trays
- Rainwater tanks
- Pet water bowls or troughs
- Kiddie pools
- Garden/lawn sites with poor drainage
- Bird baths
- Leaky faucets
- Children's yard toys
- Unfiltered/untreated pools and spas
- Ruts or holes in yards
- Upturned garbage can lids