Eliminating potential breeding sites is a key component to controlling mosquitoes around your property. Remember to empty or remove containers (especially tires, buckets, and boat tarps) that might hold water. Move sump pump hoses around to minimize pooling. Keep gutters free from blockage and change the water in bird baths and bathing pools weekly. Avoid overwatering lawns, and notify Cass County Vector Control if you have a substantial pool of standing water that persists for several days. You can check to see if the breeding site you've found is in our database by checking for it here (CCVC Metro Area Breeding Site Map).
To minimize adult mosquitoes on your property keep lawns short and free from broad leaf weeds, trim low laying branches of shrubs and pine trees above the ground. Also, make sure your window and door screens are patched and free from openings that could give mosquitoes access to the inside of your home.
If necessary, apply commercially available adult mosquito control insecticides according to labeled directions. Be sure that you are applying pesticides when mosquitoes are present and avoid unnecessary applications such as immediately before rain, or in April or May before there actually are mosquitoes. Unnecessary applications are ineffective, expensive, and bad for the environment.
You might ask, "Why are the mosquitoes are still bad if we pay for service?" The answer to that is related directly to the weather and the amount of rain that has fallen. Typically after each rain during the summer a new batch or "brood" of mosquitoes will emerge. Successive rains mean multiple broods can emerge over the course of just a few days. Every effort is made to proactively eliminate mosquitoes before they emerge. Ultimately, when rainfalls some mosquitoes will get through.
Additionally, mosquitoes that emerge from water several miles away are highly capable of flying up to 20 miles into town and creating a nuisance for metro residents. Resources are not available to treat a very large "buffer zone" outside of the metro, the current buffer at best extends just 3 to 4 miles from any outlying areas. The closer your home is to the "edge" of town, the more likely you will experience mosquito problems.
Fargo and West Fargo provide 90% of the revenue for Vector Control which means there are very little resources for the 1700 other square miles of Cass County outside of the metro. Currently the minimum cost for treating a mile long ditch that is approximately 8 feet wide is about $15 in material alone and kills mosquitoes in that site for a maximum of 3 days. There are over 7000 miles of ditch in Cass County without mentioning flooding rivers, drains, low spots, and other water holding depressions. All rural townships and rural cities combine to provide funding for approximately $20,000 in pesticides to be used to treat standing water. That $20,000 if used solely around the outskirts of Fargo and West Fargo would allow the treatment of only 133 miles of an 8 foot wide ditch for one treatment- or less than a 2 mile buffer outside of city limits. So when a large thunderstorm drops several inches of rain across a swath over dozens of miles just miles outside of town; that will create significant problems that can only reasonably be addressed with adult spraying.
Truck mounted or aerial adult control applications are typically scheduled when our average trap counts exceed 35 females in Fargo and West Fargo but can be delayed when it rains, there is too much or too little wind, or because of other factors. But be assured that adult spraying will continue as frequent as necessary until we get close to our threshold.
Nonetheless there are still simple and inexpensive things you can do to give you highly specialized results for your property, your barbecue, or outdoor wedding. But the obvious fall back of applying a DEET containing bug spray will always be an option for you to consider.
For information about how you can control mosquitoes in your yard and immediately improve conditions click: Mosquito Spraying