The CDC reports that cases of illness linked to mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled between 2004 and 2016, while nine new germs from mosquito and tick bites were discovered or introduced to the country during that time.
Protection is important as ever! Here are some tips:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Treat items, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents, with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with ingredients such as DEET.
- Use a fan! Mosquitoes are relatively weak fliers,so placing a large fan on your deck can provide a low-tech solution.
- Regarding mosquito sprays: even “natural” sprays like pyrethroids (from chrysanthemums) kill pollinators, so if you choose to spray, ask the service to spray early morning or early evening and not on flowering plants.
The most effective way to guarantee a healthy population of mosquitoes in your yard is for you and/or your close neighbors to provide breeding sites. Mosquitos don't travel far from home, so any undrained containers, plastic toys and play equipment, an old tarp, even a soda can can provide a perfect site and lots of mosquitos all around your home.
One of the best places for breeding is gutters that don't properly drain and/or get clogged. Basically, anyplace where rainwater can sit for more than a few days will provide scores of mosquitos in no time. Here are some tips:
- Get rid of standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels and potted plant trays at least once a week to eliminate potential mosquito habitats.
- Drain temporary pools of water or fill with dirt.
- Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.