Follow these mosquito prevention tips to avoid being The Meal at your next picnic!
A mosquito infestation can completely ruin the time that you plan to spend outdoors. One or two mosquitoes is no cause for panic, but large numbers of them can leave you wildly slapping at the air and running for cover.
It may seem like the irritating insects magically appear, but a mosquito infestation usually has a preventable root cause. In most cases, standing water is the culprit, because this is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Even small pockets of water can become a perfect breeding ground for the insects. In just a few days, hundreds or even thousands of mosquitoes can emerge from their watery cribs to turn your yard into their personal playground complete with a free buffet.
Mosquitoes Aren’t Just Annoying
Mosquito bites are extremely itchy, and if you’re spending time outdoors, you’re likely to be targeted multiple times. A compulsion to scratch every inch of your arms and legs can take the fun out of any occasion. However, itchy spots are nothing compared to the suffering caused by serious mosquito-borne illnesses, some of which can be fatal. Throughout history, mosquitoes have been responsible for spreading diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue. Current serious health threats caused by mosquitoes include West Nile virus, Chikungunya and the Zika virus. Even your pets are at risk; mosquito bites can transmit heart worms, which can be lethal to dogs and cats if left untreated.
Zika in particular, has been a persistent threat of late, and experts are suggesting this years' mild winter may lead to an increase in Zika related infections. The Center for Disease Control reported that in 2016, nearly 1,000 pregnant women from 44 states had some evidence of a Zika infection and were at risk of giving birth to a baby with Zika-related birth defects. Most women were said to have acquired the infection while traveling. The CDC is recommending all pregnant women continue to take steps to prevent exposure through mosquito bites and sexual transmission, and recommend screenings for possible exposure.
Expert Tips to Help You Fight Back
Fortunately, there are a few effective ways to reduce mosquito populations and encourage them to go elsewhere. Here are a few tips to help you take control.
- Remove all sources of standing water and moist materials from your yard including pet water bowls, empty planters that could collect rain water and piles of wet leaves. Check your property for areas of poor drainage, and clean out your gutters.
- Plant a natural mosquito repellent or two in your garden. Citronella, garlic, lemon balm, catnip, rosemary, peppermint, marigold, lavender and basil are all effective.
- Welcome any available natural mosquito killer to your property. Many animals and other insects prey on mosquitoes; these include birds, bats, spiders, dragonflies, turtles, frogs and tadpoles. The list isn’t limited to land-lovers. Many types of fish love to dine on mosquito larvae. The gambusia affinis or mosquito fish is a superb mosquito killer.
- Talk to your neighbors about mosquito control. If they have standing water on their property, everyone in the neighborhood will likely have a mosquito problem.
When Mosquitoes Are Out of Control, We’ve Got You Covered
If your mosquito population is out of control, a natural mosquito repellent may not be enough to protect your family and pets from serious mosquito-borne illnesses, and do-it-yourself efforts are rarely successful for managing severe infestations. When mosquitoes have taken over, it’s time to hire a professional pest control service. At Burns Pest Elimination, we have more than 30 years of experience in eradicating mosquitoes and preventing their return. Contact us today to learn more about our residential mosquito treatment and our other pest control services.