The sun is shining, the warm breeze is blowing, you’ve got your feet up, unwinding from the week, when…OUCH! That moment of relaxation you’ve been waiting for was suddenly interrupted by a painful mosquito bite. At this point you’re annoyed, thinking about going back inside to avoid more bites, or wondering if you should make an appointment with your doctor to check for Zika or West Nile. What a summer bummer!
Mosquitoes not only pose serious risks for your family, but pets are a target too. Heartworms are parasites transmitted to dogs and cats through mosquito bites, that live in pets’ bloodstream, lungs and heart, and can cause serious, even deadly, side effects.
Don’t let mosquitoes suck the life out of your summer. Protect family and pets and take back your yard with these easy mosquito bite prevention tips:
Attack Mosquitoes at the Source
Mosquitoes breed in areas with stagnant, standing water like fountains and water features, toys, buckets, outdoor pet bowls, bird baths, clogged gutters, vases, flowerpot saucers, old tires or tire swings, rain barrels, trash cans and trash can lids, tarps, kiddie pools, and pool covers. The best way to prevent mosquito bites is to remove these items/areas and to treat your yard with mosquito control products. This is included in a monthly mosquito reduction program and is guaranteed to drastically reduce the number of mosquitoes in and around your yard.
Use Insect Repellent
One of the best ways to prevent Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases is to use skin-applied insect repellent when you’re going to be outside. Formulas that contain DEET and picaridin were found to be most effective at preventing mosquito bites (and those with natural plant oils least effective), according to Consumer Reports.
If you really want to further prevent bites, keep arms and legs covered when outdoors with light-colored, loose clothing. Sometimes this can be just as uncomfortable as getting bitten, though, with the scorching summer heat. If you leave skin exposed, be sure to reapply insect repellent often (especially if you’ll be swimming).
Consider using fans in areas you’ll be hanging out this summer – on decks, patios, around pools, etc. Mosquitoes are weak fliers so the winds from fans will make it hard for them to get close enough to bite.