Residents of Fairhope know that living with mosquitoes is a reality. This means we need to do things around homes and yards to reduce the chance of mosquito bites or mosquito born illnesses such as Enciphalitus or West Nile Virus.
When a resident calls us about a mosquito complaint, we usually come out and walk around the yard. Within one (1) to one hundred fifty (150) feet we will find the source of the problem. Most all times, we find standing water.
The easiest thing to rid your problem is what is commonly called "source control" or eliminating places for the mosquito to lay eggs and grow to a biting adult. Keep your property free of standing water. Make sure any standing water, no matter how small (A Magnolia leaf is known to have enough water to breed Mosquito’s) is changed every three days. On the fourth day, the eggs are hatching and you have a biting mosquito. Empty stagnate water from outside containers. Keep in mind that if .01"-6" stays stagnate, you have created a breeding spot for mosquitos. If you collect rainwater for use around the garden, screen the opening or keeping the water agitated can be the answer. Small or large ponds can be aerated which creates a ripple on the water. In this moving, agitated environment, mosquitos are least likely to breed.
The City of Fairhope Public Works Department website has a link to a great publication from the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service to help you learn about easy to do things to reduce mosquitoes in our city: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1116/ANR-1116-low.pdf.
If emptying the pond water is not an option, consider Gambusia Fish. These fish are natural predators for the larvae. Martins and Bats are also natural predators for the mosquito.
There are also many pesticide alternatives from home treatments to commercial services. If you choose to use pesticide treatments, read the label on any and all home treatments to avoid exposure of family members, pets and useful insects to harmful chemicals. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and disposal.
City of Fairhope Spray Program
The applications of pesticides are made only when necessary by determining a need and showing justification for spray action. Generally the spray treatment for mosquitoes starts after several complaints, weather temperature or rainfall. Standard practice for the mosquito technician before he begins spraying is to treat areas with larvicide tablets for source control. We do use Gambusia fish or lavicide tablets. We treat drainage ditches, low lying ponds or other areas where water stands. The normal spray months for the adult mosquito are from May to the first week of November. We spray all streets owned by the City of Fairhope in the city limits of Fairhope once a week for mosquitos. The spray times are when the mosquito is most likely to be affected, in the early morning hours and in the afternoon hours each day. Fairhope currently sprays a cedar oil based product which is a chemical free solution. Cedar oil is an environmental friendly product that can be used around humans, pets and wildlife. We also keep a “ No Spray List” of residents who choose not to have the service near there address. This list is compiled into a log and kept in the truck with the technician. If a citizen wishes to be added to the "No Spray List" they should contact Public Works at 251-928-8003.
Cedar Oil MSDS Sheet [PDF]