We've been going on and on about this for some time now. Mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water; it's where they lay their eggs after feeding on our blood. To give yourself any chance of avoiding mosquito bites, it's super important to drain any containers of standing water and reduce mosquito breeding habitat.
You might've heard of communities or local councils collecting old tires in your neighbourhood, with the intention of reducing mosquitoes. But why are mosquitoes so drawn to these rubbery cylinders?
Mosquitoes Love Old Tires
Tires are notorious for breeding thousands of mosquitoes. Filled with water, they're a potential breeding ground for the biting female mosquito. But that's not the only reason mosquitoes get comfortable in them. After sitting around for a while, tires can become filled with nutritious leaves for mosquitoes to feed on for energy. Only female mosquitoes suck our blood (they use the protein for breeding purposes) while both male and female mosquitoes eat plant matter for nutrition.
The thick, rubbery composition of tires also helps provide insulation and protection for mosquito eggs, making them the perfect nest for a new spawn of pests to grow.
How To Prevent Mosquito Breeding in Tires
While we could just say "get rid of them", you don't want to make mosquitoes someone else's problem by simply dumping them somewhere. With West Nile Virus here in North America and the recent onset of the Zika Virus, combined with the sheer amount of tires lying around, preventing mosquito breeding in tires is a daunting but critical task for every community.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent mosquito breeding;
- Dispose of tires by contacting a tire recycling service, or ask your local council to point you in the right direction
- Drill holes in unused tires or tire swings to allow for water drainage
- Store unused tires indoors or in closed containers
- Cover scrap tires with with tarp or a plastic cover (but remember to drain that regularly, too)
- Shred old tires so that they can't carry any stagnant water
- Treat scrap tires with an approved control product