One of the main concerns that haunts us every year is how to protect ourselves from getting bitten by mosquitoes. Even at home, our most effective ally is that prevention is always better than cure. This can be done by adopting two measures: preventing birth and preventing bites. By limiting the presence of mosquito breeding sites, we can significantly contribute to reducing the overall number of mosquitoes that bother us.

This is especially true for the "urbanized" mosquitoes, like the Asian tiger mosquito or the common house mosquito. These mosquitoes develop in any holding containers of water which has been accidentally left in orchards, gardens, courtyards, terraces, and homes. Unfortunately, it can do nothing for the rural mosquito that develop far from our homes, but then visit us for their unwanted "snacks".

As described in other sections, the Asian tiger mosquito completes a large part of its development cycles in small pools of stagnant water. It is therefore necessary to identify where they can be found.

Here are some examples that help us understand where Asian tiger mosquitoes lay their eggs and larvae easily grow: catch basins, rainwater drainage pits, rain barrels, containers in vegetable gardens and gardens, small fountains, flowerpots on terraces and balconies, abandoned tires, and plastic bags and other objects that collect rainwater.

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Once these potential breeding sites have been identified, it is then necessary to find a remedy for each one. Sometimes, it is possible to eliminate the stagnation, but in some cases, it is not. Here is a simple diagram showing how to choose some solutions for the most common Asian tiger mosquito breeding sites that can be found in or near our home.

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Many breeding sites used by the Asian tiger mosquitoes for their development are also used by the common house mosquitoes, therefore the solutions to be adopted are the same. However, the common house mosquito can exploit both epigeal and hypogeal larger areas of stagnant water.

Be aware of floating decks, terraces, and other flat roofs or coverings, disused swimming pools, underground cisterns, crawl spaces, and flooded cellars.

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For hypogeal breeding sites, the best solution could be to isolate the flooded underground environment from the outside, ensuring that the doors and windows have mosquito nets and closing off any small accesses (interrupted pipes, vents, ventilation grilles, holes in the walls, etc.) In this way, the mosquitoes cannot enter to lay their eggs and therefore, the development cycle is interrupted. The same indications for the Asian tiger mosquito apply to epigean breeding sites: eliminate the causes of stagnation where possible, in other cases use fish, or other larvicidal products.

If all prevention measures have not been sufficient to avoid larvae development, this means that the mosquitoes have come from somewhere else. If we live in a flat complex, it is necessary that everyone living there and those who take care of its upkeep implement prevention.

In a residential area with houses, and cottages with gardens, it just takes one household to not adhere to preventative measures and thereby infest all the neighborhood with numerous mosquitoes. In this case, you could yourself inform your neighbors on what should be done to avoid the presence of mosquitoes or go to your city council and ask them to raise awareness.

However, mosquitoes might arrive unexpectedly form other distant places, for example mosquitoes from rice paddies or floodplains. In these cases, we cannot prevent their development by ourself, but we can try to avoid being bitten by installing mosquito screens or using appropriate repellent products.

Last modified: Feb 2021

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