State can help find source of mosquito infestation
We live in Waikele and have been infested by swarms of mosquitos. My wife and I have walked around the property looking for possible standing water and have found none. We have talked to our neighbor and found out the he has the same problem but also has no standing water. We walked outside of our property and still have not found any standing water. What else can we do? It has become very depressing for us as we can no longer enjoy our back yard, no longer can barbecue, no longer can let our dog out to play. Can someone help us?
Answer: Call the state Department of Health's Vector Control Branch at 483-2535.
An inspector will be sent to see what might be the source of your infestation, which will depend on what time of the day or night they appear.
There haven't been many calls about swarms of mosquitos in the Waikele area or elsewhere, a Vector Control representative said.
On a daily basis, people will call the branch about various pests, most often about rats, she said. By 9 a.m. on the day we talked with her, complaints already had been received about rats and bedbugs.
Regarding mosquitos in Hawaii, searching for the breeding source will depend on whether they are "day biters or night biters," she said.
Day biters have a short flight range of about 100 to 150 yards and are active only during daylight, until about dusk.
According to a brochure put out by the Vector Control Branch, day biters breed in relatively clean water found in tree holes, plants, rock holes and man-made containers. Some are attracted to discarded tires. Day biters normally don't breed in ground pools or water that contains soil.
"If they are day biters, (inspectors) will know where to look, usually closer to that complainant's place," she said.
Night-biting mosquitos, on the other hand, can zoom in from several miles away, she said.
There are two species of night biters in Hawaii. One will breed in man-made containers, although it favors ground water that contains rotting organic matter, while the other, which lays its eggs in lowland soil, is brought to life in floodwaters.
Vector Control says common breeding sites to check around your house are vine bowls, clogged roof gutters, cans, bottles, old tires, unused swimming pools, unused fishponds, pineapple lilies, spider lilies, hollow bamboo stumps, uncapped hollow tile walls, uncapped fence pipes and overflow trays under house plants.
Among the permanent control solutions suggested: remove, repair or empty anything that could contain water and become a breeding source; get mosquito-eating fish, such as guppies, for fishponds or other large containers that cannot be removed or emptied; or install or repair window screens and doors to keep out mosquitos.
You are cautioned NOT to release the fish into streams or lakes because they are not native species.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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