SUMMER MOSQUITO SAFETY
Summer is upon us and so is mosquito season. Here are a few tips to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne disease.
Mosquito control starts at home.
Avoid shaded areas where mosquitoes may be resting.
If possible, schedule your activities to avoid the times when mosquitoes are most active – usually dawn and dusk.
If you have a deck or patio, light it using General Electric yellow “Bug Lights”. These lights are not repellant, per se, but do not attract mosquitoes like other incandescent lights.
Mosquitoes are relatively weak fliers, so placing a large fan on your deck or patio can provide an effective low-tech solution.
Wear protective clothing such as long pants and long sleeve shirts when outdoors.
Use insect repellents properly. DEET, Picaridin and Oil of Lemon-Eucalyptus are proven to be the most effective. Use repellents only as directed on the label.
Check your door and window screens for holes and tears that mosquitoes can use to enter your home. Put 16 mesh screening or hardware cloth over bathroom and other vent outlets on your roof.
Keep pools clean and chlorinated.
Keep emergent vegetation to a minimum in ponds and streams.
Keep ponds stocked with mosquito fish after consulting with local fish and game personnel to see if permits are needed. They are often available from your local mosquito control district. Steeply grade pond margins to prevent predators such as wading birds, raccoons, etc from eating the fish.
Eliminate all standing water on your property. Don't forget to remind your neighbors, too. Their mosquitoes may also be your mosquitoes.
- Dispose of any tires. Tires can breed thousands of mosquitoes.
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers.
- Clear roof gutters of debris.
- Clean pet water dishes regularly.
- Check and empty children’s toys.
- Repair leaky outdoor faucets.
- Change the water in bird baths and plant pots at least once a week.
- Canoes, boats, and wading pools should be turned over.
- Avoid water collecting on pool covers.
- Plug tree holes and stumps.
- Fill in or drain puddles and ruts in your yard.
- Keep shrubbery and weeds trimmed
- Even the smallest of containers that can collect water can breed hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes. They don't need much water to lay their eggs. (bottles, buckets, overturned garbage can lids, etc.)
Remember, the best protection is prevention!