Last year was a record year for mosquitoes, and based on the weird weather and rains we’ve experienced this spring, entomologists at HomeTeam Pest Defense believe mosquitoes may be even worse this year. To help keep you and your family safe, here’s HomeTeam’s five ways to LIMIT mosquitoes:
Look for Water – Mosquitoes require water to breed. Adult mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant or slow moving water, so dump items in your yard that hold water every 48 hours. Even the smallest amount of water held in a leaf or bottle cap can be enough for mosquitoes to breed. The water held in birdbaths, non-chlorinated wading pools, garbage can lids, and pottery will all attract breeding mosquitoes. Remember to empty the saucers under your flowerpots, and don’t leave water in pet bowls for more than two days. Some common mosquitoes lay their eggs just above the waterline or on the edge of bodies of water.
Inspect Your Home – Check window and door screens for holes and repair or replace them as needed. Screens should fit snugly, without gaps around the edges which can let mosquitoes in. Keep gutters clean and unclogged so they won’t collect water. Be sure your downspouts drain properly, without leaving puddles in the drainage area. You may need to reroute your downspouts or add extensions to carry water away.
Maintain Your Yard – Adult mosquitoes rest during the day, usually on the under sides of vegetation. Make your yard less hospitable to mosquitoes by mowing your lawn regularly, keeping vegetation away from your home’s foundation and clearing away leaves, litter and debris (which are likely to collect water). Repair broken sprinkler heads that leak water and create flooded areas. If you have a swimming pool or pond keep them cleaned, chlorinated and aerated.
Isolate – Mosquitoes are most active during the early morning and late evening. Isolate yourself from mosquitoes during their most active time of day, by avoiding outdoor activity during dusk and dawn. If you have to be outside during these hours, set up large outdoor fans to blow mosquitoes away. The force of air will make it harder for them to land on you. Use of other repellent products, such as citronella candles and mosquito coils, may also be effective if used in windless conditions, but only if you are in very close proximity to them.
Treat Yourself – Apply a DEET-based insect repellent according to the directions on the label and remember to re-apply as directed. Wear a long sleeved shirt and pants to add an extra layer of protection. Although mosquitoes are attracted to your natural body heat and carbon dioxide, light colored clothing may help make you less of a target. Long sleeved shirt and pants help protect your skin.