Ah, summertime! The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the mosquitoes are out in full force. Yes, mosquitoes, those pesky insects that enjoy nothing more than buzzing around your head and leaving behind itchy, irritating bites. Not only are mosquito bites annoying, but they can also transmit diseases such as West Nile, Zika, and dengue fever. So, it’s important to prevent mosquito bites by placing preventative measures throughout your property to help eliminate these pests in your yard.
Here are some do-it-yourself tips for preventing mosquito bites:
- Wear protective clothing: When you’re going to be spending time outside, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to cover your skin. Light-colored clothing is also a good idea, as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
- Use mosquito repellent: Look for mosquito repellent products that contain DEET.
- Avoid peak mosquito hours: Mosquitoes are most active during dusk hours, so try to avoid spending time outside during these times if possible.
- Use screens: Make sure your windows and doors have screens that are in good repair to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
Now, let’s talk about how to eliminate mosquitoes in your yard:
- Eliminate items that can hold water, including toys, buckets, pet bowls, tarps, old tires, and hollowed logs or stumps.
- Utilize screens on all windows and doors if you keep them open.
- Clean your gutters of leaves and debris to prevent pooling and standing water.
- Keep your pools, ponds, and bird baths clean every few days.
Mosquitoes can be a real nuisance in the summertime, but by taking these steps to prevent bites and eliminate mosquitoes in your yard, you can enjoy your time outdoors without worrying about these annoying insects. If you notice more mosquitoes around your yard than you are comfortable with, consider reaching out to your local pest control company for a free inspection.
Even with cold weather on the way, mosquitoes will stay active through the fall months. It is important to continue to take precautions when outdoors and be wary of breeding sites around your home. Doing so will cut down on mosquito populations and the spread of mosquito-borne diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a disease that has had 20 human cases in 2019 in the United States.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is rare, but it can be life-threatening. There are two types of illnesses caused by EEE: systemic and encephalitic, with the latter being the most serious. The symptoms after a bite are flu-like including chills, fever, and pain in joints. However, if encephalitic, the symptoms can escalate to vomiting and convulsions. There have been cases recorded in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
During mosquito season, look to use these tips to cut down on mosquito encounters:
- Remove areas of standing water around your home and business
- Utilize insect repellent containing DEET
- Avoid outdoor activities during peak mosquito times which are dawn and dusk
- Call a professional mosquito control company to get a thorough inspection and comprehensive treatment plan to help combat the mosquitoes around your home
Contracting this disease is rare, but by taking these precautions you can help further protect you and your family from mosquitoes and their bites. Click here for more information on EEE cases in the United States.
Mosquitoes are one of the most common pests active during the spring and summer months. While most consider them a nuisance with their incessant buzzing and itchy bites, mosquitoes can also be dangerous to both humans and pets, transmitting serious diseases like Zika and West Nile to humans and heartworms and encephalitis to pets. Peak season for mosquitoes is from April to October. What methods for mosquito control are out there? How long do they last? Find out the answers to these questions and more below.
When is Mosquito Season?
Mosquitoes will begin to lay eggs or previously laid eggs will begin to hatch when the temperature outside consistently reaches 50 degrees in the evenings. Peak mosquito season typically runs from April through October.
What is Included in a Mosquito Treatment?
There are several benefits included in a mosquito treatment. Green mosquito treatments use products derived from flowers and bacteria and are applied only to areas needed, reducing adult mosquito populations as well as mosquito larvae. A typical mosquito treatment program may include a property inspection to identify potential mosquito breeding and resting areas in and around your home and yard; a service guarantee to come back in between scheduled visits if needed at no charge; mosquito source reduction by eliminating areas of standing water such as clogged gutters, containers, bird baths, etc; larvicide mosquito treatments to target those potential breeding sites; and adulticide mosquito treatments to target adult mosquito resting areas like shrubs, ivy, weeds, small trees, shaded areas.
How Long Does a Mosquito Treatment Last?
Several factors affect the longevity of a mosquito treatment including weather, environment, application technique and the mosquito population levels around your home. A typical mosquito treatment lasts about 30 days. After this time, the material begins to degrade making your mosquito protection less effective. It is recommended that mosquito treatments should be applied monthly for the duration of mosquito season.
What Size Area is Treated?
In general, if your property is less than 1 acre the mosquito treatment will be applied to the entire yard. If your property is greater than 1 acre, technicians will usually start with a treatment area of about 1 acre and progress as needed. The treatment will specifically be applied to the perimeter of the yard in areas of foliage, woods, and shaded damp areas. These are the areas where mosquitoes prefer to rest during the day. This creates the largest impact while using the least amount of product.
What Can You Do To Prevent Mosquito Bites?
Mosquito bites are itchy and sometimes painful; they can also be dangerous as they can transmit serious diseases to both humans and animals. There are several steps you can take to prevent mosquito bites. Use insect repellent any time you will be outside. This repellent should include one of the following ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. Cover up with long sleeves and pants. Tuck pants into your shoes if possible. Treat boots, pants, socks, and even tents with permethrin. Use air conditioning or window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home. Make sure screens are in good repair with no holes or tears. Cover cribs, strollers, and carriers with mosquito netting. Once a week empty, scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that can hold standing water such as buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flower pots, and trashcans.
How Can You Treat Mosquito Bites?
Mosquito bites are not only painful, they can cause severe reactions if you have a mosquito allergy. There are several things you can do to treat mosquito bites. First and foremost, don’t scratch the bite. Scratching may temporarily relieve the itching but it also continues to irritate and inflame the skin and can lead to infection. Wash the bite with cool water and soap instead. Try calamine lotion or Caladryl on the bites; there are also several new products containing cortisone or other antihistamines such as AfterBite that can help relieve itching. Use a cold compress or ice pack on the bite to help reduce inflammation. Try an oral antihistamine like Benadryl to help with itching. These take longer to work but can also provide longer relief.
You May Also Be Interested In:
Home Remedies To Keep Snakes Away
Keeping Wildlife Out This Spring
Do I Really Need Termite Protection?
Tips For Preventing Cockroaches
Spring Clean Your Lawn
The first cases of locally transmitted Zika virus were reported this week in Florida. On July 29th, 4 people infected with Zika virus in Miami reportedly were bitten by mosquitoes within the city. On August 1st, that number grew from 4 to 14 infected. Until now, all reported cases of Zika in the United States have been linked to those who recently travelled to countries with known Zika transmissions.
Due to the recent developments, the Centers for Disease Control are warning pregnant women and their partners to avoid traveling to Miami and surrounding areas. Zika virus is extremely dangerous to unborn babies, potentially causing a condition known as Microcephaly, a birth defect characterized by abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brain function. Pregnant women and/or their partners that have recently travelled to the area (on or after June 15th) should be tested immediately for Zika virus and those living in and around Miami should exercise strict mosquito bite prevention and avoid unprotected sex.
As for the rest of the country, the risk of contracting Zika from mosquitoes isn’t an immediate threat since mosquitoes carrying Zika do not travel far (a mile or less in their lifetime). BUT, because symptoms of Zika often go unnoticed, those that have recently traveled to the area and may have Zika are likely to pass the virus on to sexual partners, OR could spread the virus to another mosquito if bitten. In turn, that mosquito could then transmit Zika to other people.
Because of its unpredictability, practicing mosquito bite prevention in any warm, humid climate (within the US and when traveling abroad) is key – especially for pregnant women and those planning to become pregnant. Use an insect repellent with DEET when outdoors, keep arms and legs covered with light-colored, loose clothing, stay away from areas with stagnant, standing water, and consider a home mosquito control program by an exterminating company.