With all of the rainfall this summer mosquitoes have become a common problem. We all know their breeding sites focus on stagnant water found in plugged spouting, old tires, tree cavities, and anything which will hold water for a few days.
According to OSU Ext. Entomologist Dave Shetlar we need to remember the mosquito egg to pupa stages take about 10-14 days in friendly warm wet weather. The insect larvae feed on algae, yeast and bacteria. The adult female mosquito is the one that bites you and needs blood to complete the egg formation in her body.
Mosquitoes feed on warm blooded animals 5-7 times in a 3-4 week period. The major disease which has been found in Greene and many surrounding counties this year is West Nile Virus. Usually the Asian Tiger Mosquito is our problem insect. It is striped and bites often in search of blood.
One of the most productive breeding sites for mosquitoes in dry weather are the storm sewer settling tanks commonly found in incorporated areas. These structures are designed to help catch large pieces of trash, leaves and other items which end up in the storm sewers in periods of heavy rainfall.
In dryer weather these settling tanks do not get flushed out and can become a breeding site for mosquitoes as the water stagnates. Sadly there is little we can do to prevent this source of mosquitoes. For more information on mosquito bites log on to: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/aex-892231.
Dr. Shetlar was quick to point out some of the things that do not work including citronella candles. Sometimes just pointing small fans around your patio can keep mosquitoes away as they cannot move in air moving 5mph or more. There are traps on the market that utilize CO2 and a light to attract mosquitoes but some of Dr. Shetlar’s research shows 95 percent or more of the insects killed or trapped are not mosquitoes.
The CO2 is important because female mosquitoes are attracted to this gas because it mimics the air expelled by a warm blooded animal or person. Good window screens can help keep mosquitoes out of your home.
If you decide to hire someone to spray your property for mosquitoes make sure they are licensed by the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture in category 10D. This helps you know the person knows what products will work and how to properly apply them.
Test Your Well and Soil Event will be held 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 in the Fairgrounds Assembly Hall.
The first 140 people will get free water tests for nitrate, nitrite, arsenic, iron, lead and manganese. In addition the first 100 people can receive a free soil test for those with 5 acres or less. Stop by the Greene Soil and Water Conservation Office located at 1363 Burnett Drive in Xenia for a water sample bottle and instructions. Log on to their website at www.co.greene.oh.us/soils for details as well on how to collect your water sample. It is recommended to have your well water checked yearly. Other tests will be offered for sale including bacteria which is $20.
The Farm Science Review held at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London Ohio is Sept. 18-20. Log on to http://fsr.osu.edu for details on renting a golf cart or purchasing tickets. Purchase tickets through the Extension Office through Monday, Sept. 17 for $7.
Log on to the Review website to help plan your time at the event and avoid just bringing home only sore feet.
Pasture Management Walk – If you are looking for ideas on improving your pasture consider the 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12 pasture walk. This pasture management workshop will offer educational presentations, a pasture walk, and dinner. In addition to the workshop, equipment dealers will showcase the latest in forage harvesting and forage handling machinery at the event. The pasture workshop will be held at Krajicek Farms, 2369 Tarbox Cemetery Road, Cedarville. Admission is $10 and the event is open to the public. This includes educational materials, pasture walk, and dinner provided by Greene County Cattlemen’s. Register online at: http://go.osu.edu/pasturemanagement or call Greene Soil and Water Conservation District at 937-372-4478 ext. 3 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jerry Mahan is a retired agricultural educator, resident of Greene County and guest columnist. He can be reached by email at: email@example.com.