Tires stored in unprotected areas outdoors collect water and provide excellent conditions for the breeding of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are well-known carriers of various viral infections including West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, Zika and other serious diseases. Recent research has shown water-filled tires to be excellent incubators for mosquito eggs, with mosquitoes hatching up to 100 times faster than in other breeding sites. Two key reasons for this fast rate are:
- Tires retain water longer due to their shape and because some inside areas of the tire are shaded continuously
- Tires will retain heat for long periods of time, which speeds up the hatching process and growth of the larvae
The best control method is to keep stored tires dry at all times. Help protect the health of your neighbors by using the following methods to keep tires dry:
- Store indoors
- Use enclosed trailers
- Place tarps on outdoor storage piles
- Regularly transport tires for recycling
If you have an accumulation of tires stored unprotected outdoors, inspect the tire casings for the presence of water and check any water found for mosquito larvae; you will be able to see the larvae swimming in the water with the naked eye. If you find larvae in the tire casings, implement one or more of the following:
- For new or used tires, empty water from the casings (by scooping or pumping) and store indoors or in another area protected from rainfall
- For small accumulations, empty water from the casings and store in a dry, protected area until they are picked up for recycling
- For larger accumulations, arrange to have them picked up and recycled as soon as possible
- For larger accumulations, it may be necessary to use chemical or biological control methods (see below) until the scrap tires are removed for recycling
Chemical and Biological Controls
There are many chemical and biological methods available for mosquito control, but there are safety and environmental hazards to consider. Consult your local health department and/or county extension office prior to initiating mosquito control using chemical or biological methods. Caution: Do not use spray application procedures on windy days or let spray drift from your property.
NOTE: Failure to control the breeding and harborage of mosquitoes, rodents, and other vectors is considered a violation of the Georgia Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Act and the Georgia Rules for Solid Waste Management and may result in enforcement actions, including monetary penalties.