It is easy to shrug mosquitoes off. We've all gotten bites. And we haven't caught any of the dangerous mosquito-borne viruses we heard so much about. Or have we? Here's what you need to know most about mosquitoes.
Diseases mosquitoes can spread to New Jersey residents
The list of mosquito-borne viruses is long. Some you've probably heard of like malaria, West Nile virus, and Zika. Others, like chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, and several forms of encephalitis might have gone under the radar. You could have gotten sick by any one of them and not even known it. The symptoms of these viruses are often mistaken for the common cold or the flu. Have you ever had a fever, body aches, nausea, or vomiting? You may have had a mosquito-borne virus.
Some viruses are scarier than others. Studies have shown that Zika virus is able to cause microcephaly in unborn children at all stages of development. That's the kind of illness that can affect an entire family for a lifetime. West Nile virus is linked to the deaths of thousands in the United States. In 2012, 1,024 cases were reported. Of those reported cases, 89 led to human mortality.
Mosquito-borne viruses also affect our pets. On the top of the list is heartworm, West Nile virus, encephalitis, and tularemia. Fortunately, there are veterinarian-prescribed mosquito repellents that can help to keep pets protected.
While New Jersey doesn't battle mosquito-borne disease like the southern states do, they are still very much a safety concern throughout the spring and summer months, especially in coastal locations where there is no shortage of stagnant water sources for them to breed in.
Eight ways to prevent mosquitoes from biting you and your family
1.) Mosquito repellent
The number one way to ward off mosquito bites is repellent. While it is not 100% protection, it is a good place to start. Spray repellent on your skin and clothing to repel mosquitoes.
2.) Natural oils
If you don't prefer to put chemicals on your skin try a repellent with oil of lemon eucalyptus for a natural solution.
3.) Cover bare skin
If you're able to wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants, it is a good idea. This will give those mosquitoes less skin to bite.
4.) Wear bright colors
Mosquitoes have poor eyesight. They will often fly low and use the horizon to see their human targets in silhouette. Wearing bright colors will make it harder for mosquitoes to lock onto you.
5.) Buying mosquito specific clothing
If you'll be in a location that has lots of mosquitoes, consider getting clothing that has mosquito netting.
6.) Avoid times where mosquitoes are most active
Mosquitoes are most active in the morning and evening. Consider going out in the middle of the day to avoid bites. Mosquitoes are drawn to CO2 emissions and sweat. If you exercise or play outside, especially in the morning or evening, you can expect to get bites.
7.) Avoid mosquito breeding sites
Mosquito populations are greater near marshes, swamps, coastal areas, forests, and other locations where there is an abundance of still water. Avoiding these locations can reduce bites.
8.) Alcohol will attract mosquitoes
Studies have shown that drinking alcohol will make you more attractive to mosquitoes. It pays to be the designated driver at a backyard party.
Things you can do to prevent mosquitoes around your home
- Mosquitoes don't need much water in order to reproduce. They will lay eggs in a container with 1 inch of water in the bottom.
- Remove any items in your yard that can hold rainwater. If you are unable to remove an item, consider drilling a hole that will allow water to drain out and sink into the ground. This works well with an item such as a tire swing.
- Inspect your gutters for clogs caused by leaves and other debris to prevent pooling.
- Inspect exterior spigots, hoses, and plumbing for leaks.
- There are many plants that repel mosquitoes. Planting these around your foundation perimeter, especially in areas where mosquitoes hide from the midday sun, can help to drive mosquitoes away. Try citronella grass, lemon balm, catnip, basil, lavender, rosemary, scented geranium, or peppermint.
What's the most effective way to reduce mosquitoes around your home?
The most effective way to reduce mosquitoes in your yard is to partner with a pest management professional (PMP). When you have mosquito control from May through September, your PMP will help you to reduce breeding sites, apply larvicide to still water sources that cannot be removed, and apply routine treatments to the locations where mosquitoes hide. This will make your perimeter a death trap for mosquitoes. When you kill mosquitoes, those mosquitoes won't be laying any more eggs in your yard or the yards around yours. And it takes time for new mosquitoes to come in and replace the ones that are eliminated. It's like taking your backyard back.
Arrow's BITE BACK! program
If you're ready to see how amazing mosquito (and tick) control can be, give us a call today. Arrow Pest Control offers an industry-leading mosquito and tick control program we call our BITE BACK! program. Contact us today to learn how Arrow can help reduce the number of mosquitoes and ticks around your home so you can enjoy your property this summer!
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