CROSSLAKE Landscaping to control mosquitoes is the subject of a seminar 10:30 a.m. May 15 at the Crosslake Community Center.
Cost is $10 per person. Pre-registration is requested but not required. For more information, call WoodSpirit Gardens in Backus at (888) 947-2414.
Nancy Read, Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, St. Paul, will present "Mosquitoes, West Nile Virus, and What You Build."
Read is technical leader at the seven-county Metropolitan Mosquito Control District based in St. Paul. With the spread of West Nile virus she and other staff at Metro Mosquito Control have been studying the mosquitoes most likely to transmit the disease and what habitats they are using, including catch basins and constructed storm water ponds.
Her talk will give background on mosquitoes and West Nile virus, describe findings on what habitats are most likely to produce mosquitoes, and provide information on prevention and control.
The program will feature a one-hour slide presentation followed by a short break.
Then there will be a 30-minute slide presentation titled "Landscaping to Protect the Land, Water, and Ourselves" by Daniel Dix, landscape design/installer from WoodSpirit Gardens, Backus.
Public concerns about mosquitoes and West Nile virus have challenged public agencies and private landowners to evaluate landscape plans to help minimize mosquito problems.
Any structure that holds water five or more days, either by design or through maintenance issues, poses risk. Techniques like mosquito exclusion, mosquito controls or design modifications can help.
The length of time an area is wet is the main factor determining whether an area becomes larval mosquito habitat, and for which kind of mosquito. Floodwater mosquitoes lay dormant eggs in areas often, but not always, wet, and eggs hatch when flooded, as after a large rain.
Standing water species prefer areas where water has been present one to two weeks and microbial action provides abundant larval food. Cattail mosquitoes use permanent water habitats with rooted or floating cattails. Deep open water areas and areas with fish are unlikely to be habitat for larval mosquitoes.
Rainwater gardens and other basins that dry up in less than five days are beneficial for reducing mosquito habitat, but could produce floodwater or standing water species if they remain wet.
Deep natural wetlands that once produced few mosquitoes may be changed by high sediment loads and grass invasion and become more productive. Construction details such as rip-rap or concrete chambers can provide highly productive mosquito habitat.
Public officials, business owners and private citizens are encouraged to help minimize design problems and arrange for maintenance to minimize mosquito problems. Biological controls can also be considered.
Crosslake Community Center is in the center of Crosslake along Highway 66.
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