Mosquito activity has increased this year due to recent rains and a warm winter and early spring. As of August 14, there were 693 cases of the West Nile Virus in the United States. Of those cases almost 50% have been reported in Texas according to the Wall Street Journal and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dallas started aerial spraying last week to kill mosquitoes.
Though most people will suffer no serious damage from the bite of a mosquito carrying West Nile Virus, some bites can cause severe illness or even death, especially in people over 50 and those with health problems. As a result, this has led countless Americans to question whether or not they are doing all they can to protect themselves and their families from these potentially harmful mosquitoes.
Local entomologists are expanding recommendations for residents to help manage mosquitoes in their yard:
“While checking for and removing standing water around your home, remember to check the less obvious places like tree holes, gutters, play houses, boat covers, watering cans and pet dishes,” suggests Russ Horton, entomologist and national technical director for HomeTeam Pest Defense in Dallas. “Anywhere stagnant water lies, even the smallest amount, is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Eliminating these sources will make a difference in your yard.” Trapped water can be a mosquito nursery—birdbaths, drainage pipes, tires, toys and flower pots are just a few other examples. Residents should frequently check for and empty standing water, and keep any containers upside down while not in use. Officials and HomeTeam experts also recommend repairing cracks or tears in screen doors or windows, and sealing cracks and small openings around doors, windows, garage and utility entry points.
In addition to controlling mosquito breeding grounds, experts suggest avoiding outdoor activity during dusk and dawn. “Mosquitoes are most active during the early morning and late evening—and during the summer these are also the times of day that are the most pleasant temperature wise,” says Horton. If you do decide to go outside during these conditions make sure to cover your skin with loose-fitting long sleeve shirts and pants, and wear insect repellent containing DEET.
If home remedies don’t seem to work, HomeTeam provides options to help control mosquitoes in your yard. HomeTeam Pest Defense recommends a spring through early fall treatment plan to help manage mosquitoes by directly treating breeding sites and shady areas where mosquitoes rest during the day. This treatment method stops larvae growth and destroys adult mosquitoes that come into contact with the treatment. This is obtained when technicians use powered backpack sprayers that allow the technician to reach the underside of surfaces and provide residual treatment unlike aerial spraying.
Be diligent about your own protection. Seeking a professional pest control company to treat your home is a good way to reduce the population of mosquitos in your yard. For more tips to prevent mosquitoes, visit our website, pestdefense.com, or call one of our professionals at 855-855-4873. We also invite you to join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn for additional tips regarding pest management services.
Additional sources: Texas Department of State Health Services and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.