Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. These annoying bugs can carry serious disease which can be transmitted to you and your family right in your own backyard. West Nile, Chikungunya, Dengue and now Zika have dominated the headlines these last few summers, with no end in sight. There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from the mosquitoes that carry the pathogens that cause these diseases and they are surprisingly simple: eliminate potential breeding locations from your property, wear long sleeves and pants outdoors and apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin.
Looking for Breeding Areas
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Different species prefer different kinds of water sources in which to lay eggs, which grow and develop into larvae, pupae, and eventually flying, biting mosquitoes. Search your property for any source of standing water and remove it, or dump it out. Some species can breed in as little as an ounce of water. If the water is present for more than five days in a row, it is a potential mosquito breeding ground and should be eliminated.
Traditionally, when we think of mosquitoes, we think of flying pests that buzz in our ears and bite under the cover of darkness. For most species, that’s true, but some mosquito species, like the Asian tiger mosquito and the yellow fever mosquito bite aggressively during the day. Whenever venturing outside in places where mosquitoes are active, it’s important to cover all exposed skin. Wearing long sleeves and long pants make it very difficult for mosquitoes to bite. Sometimes completely covering up isn’t practical, especially during the heat of the summer. In those cases, mosquito repellent is the answer.
Mosquito repellents containing the active ingredients DEET, picardin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 are most effective at repelling biting mosquitoes. In independent university studies, these ingredients perform best when tested against hungry mosquitoes and are recommended for protection from mosquitoes by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. It is important to read and follow all label instructions on any insect repellent. Use the correct dosages and
Following these simple steps to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes will allow you to get outside and enjoy the spring season, enjoy it!