Summer Mosquito Prevention

Aug 1, 2016


What you need to know about mosquito prevention this summer

 

Jennifer Brumfield, Training and Technical Specialist, Western Pest Services

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard that mosquitoes are making international headlines again, this time due to Zika virus. Like many other people, you may be wondering if you should be concerned about mosquitoes. As temperatures increase so will the threat of mosquitoes. Here’s what you need to know about mosquitoes and how you can help prevent them on your property this summer.

Due to the health risks associated with mosquitoes, prevention should be a priority.  So what can you do? The first and most important step you should take to help prevent mosquitoes is eliminate potential breeding sites – mosquitoes are attracted to moisture and only need a few inches of standing water to lay their eggs. But you also need to take caution against existing populations.Mosquitoes are active throughout summer and sometimes even into fall. These pests are prevalent throughout the United States and while they’re typically just the cause of itchy welts and minor discomfort, they can transmit serious diseases. West Nile Virus, encephalitis, malaria, Chikungunya, Dengue fever and yes, Zika, can all be transmitted to humans from infected mosquitoes.

The following measures can help prevent breeding sites and protect against bites this summer.

Prevent breeding sites

  • Sweep away water that has pooled on flat surfaces after storms (e.g. parking lots, sidewalks and pool decks).
  • Remove standing water from buckets, pet dishes, saucers under planters and other containers.
  • Regularly drain and/or clean wading pools, bird baths and fish ponds. Consider adding elements that keep the water moving such as fountains.
  • Clean gutters regularly to avoid trapping water.
  • Work to attract natural mosquito predators, such as dragonflies.
  • Try keeping guppies or mosquitofish in your pond as they will eat the mosquitoes and their larvae.
  • Maintain your lawns and gardens. Overgrown areas and thick vegetation trap moisture where mosquitoes are likely to loaf.

Protect against bites

  • Encourage anyone spending time outdoors, including workers and members of the community, to take the necessary precautions.
  • Wear an EPA-registered mosquito repellent containing one of the following active ingredients:  DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or IR3535. 
  • Limit skin exposure by wearing protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Outside workers may even consider wearing hats with mosquito netting to protect their faces and necks.
Keep mosquitoes outsideInstall or repair window screens to prevent access inside to mosquitoes.Inspect the building exterior and seal off any gaps or holes that may exist.
  • If mosquito populations continue to grow on your property, work with your pest management provider to determine if treatment is appropriate.

In conclusion 

 

Be proactive in the battle against mosquitoes. Eliminate potential breeding sites and conducive conditions, take the necessary precautions when spending time outside, and consult your pest management professional to help keep these blood-suckers from making themselves at home on your property this summer.

Click here for more information about Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses or visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

About the Author 
Jennifer Brumfield is a Training and Technical Specialist and Board-Certified Entomologist for CAI Business Partner member Western Pest Services, a New Jersey-based pest management company serving businesses and homeowners in major Northeastern markets. Learn more about Western by visiting www.westernpest.com.

 


Please visit our Diamond Sponsors: