Mosquitoes continue to be a problem in our area each year. Not only are mosquitoes a summer nuisance, they also pose a potential health threat as they can transmit such mosquito-borne diseases as West Nile Virus, encephalitis, dengue, malaria and dog heartworm. The city takes steps each mosquito season to help combat the problem.
Following information contains links for details on current mosquito concerns.
Ellisville presently contracts with the St. Louis County Vector Control Program to address mosquito problems in public areas such as; ditches, retention ponds, storm sewers, etc. Since prevention is very important in mosquito control, treatment of mosquito breeding sites is a high priority. Vector Control begins with the monitoring for mosquitoes to determine the presents and their abundance. This information is used to develop an action plan for vector control efforts. When monitoring detects the presents of mosquitoes spraying begins, this normally is May when night time temperatures remain above 60 degrees. Spraying is weather dependent; therefore, rain, winds over 15 mph or low temperatures will cancel that evening's spraying. Efforts to control mosquitos will continue until monitoring finds a reduction typically in October. Spraying is done in Ellisville on Sunday nights throughout the season (view spraying schedule (PDF)). Residents are encouraged to contact Vector Control directly at 314-615-0680 to report an overabundance of mosquitoes or suspected breeding sites in their area. If you would like information regarding the St. Louis County spraying schedule, please call 314-615-0680.
Despite these preventative measures, there will still be some adult mosquitoes. Vector Control will make the decision to spray based upon several factors: mosquito trap results including species and quantity collected; animal and human special Virus cases, complaints and other factors for the area.
If you are experiencing a problem with mosquitoes, here are a few quick checks before spraying:
- Drain any standing water in your yard such as in toys, flower pots, or ponding in the yard.
- Use Yellow bulbs for your outside lights, as they do not draw as many insects as white lights.
- Use a UV black light "bug zapper" in high use areas.
- Purple Martins feed on mosquitoes, so if you are a bird lover, a Purple Martin bird house will help with this problem.
Mosquito Reduction Tips
Each of us can do our part to help reduce the number of mosquitoes in our area. The items listed below identify actions we can do as a community to reduce the mosquito population. Here are tips to reduce mosquitoes in your yard:
- Keep pools filtrated, unused pools should be drained, taken down or treated with Bti altosid or a home remedy by pouring a capful of common cooking oil on the surface of the water.
- Properly discard old tires, tin cans, buckets, pots, drums, and other containers, or store them so they don't collect water.
- Cover or store boats, canoe, and wheelbarrows upside down when not in use.
- Empty your small plastic wading pool and birdbath weekly.
- Empty and refill pet water dishes daily.
- Change water and rinse ornamental containers holding plants once a week.
- Fill holes in trees with sand.
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets. Don't let storm water runoff accumulate.
- Clean clogged roof gutters and drain flat roofs.
Mosquitoes develop only in water. Water standing for over 1 week can produce a crop of mosquitoes. If you wish to spray your yard to control mosquitoes, your local hardware store can recommend insecticides or natural repellents that are effective and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency
Residents may also spray or contact a pest control company to spray for mosquitoes on their property. Residents wishing to do their own spraying may purchase any of the many registered products at their home and garden center. You should take the time to consult with your provider to assure the product selected best meets your application needs. Generally these products are sprayed on your vegetation leaving a residue. When mosquitoes hide in the vegetation from sun light they come in contact with the chemical resulting in their elimination. Always purchase an EPA registered product following the manufacturer's directions for specific applications.
For more information, go to St. Louis County's Public Health website on how to control mosquitoes.
For further information on Zika and sign up for e-mail updates visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Zika page.