Take the Bite out of Pesky Mosquitoes

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Mosquitoes are breeding by the billions, and they are more than a minor outdoor nuisance. These blood-suckers can spread diseases such as West Nile virus, encephalitis, dengue fever and malaria. In the United States, West Nile virus is of most concern, which is why most municipalities monitor and sample mosquitoes and treat known mosquito breeding areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. documented 1,021 cases of West Nile Virus in 2010, of which 57 resulted in death.
Because of the ease with which mosquitoes can breed and spread disease, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners to be vigilant about mosquito prevention, especially as excessive rain and flooding experienced by much of the country in recent weeks provides perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Many people may not be aware that mosquito season does not end when summer does, but actually lasts through October. The NPMA recommends the following preventive measures to safeguard you against mosquitoes:
* Prevent mosquito nesting and breeding sites by eliminating standing water and other sources of moisture in and around the home in flowerpots, water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, baby pools, sandboxes, children’s toys and other objects that can collect water. Mosquitoes need only about 1/2 inch of water to breed. To keep birdbath and pond water fresh, homeowners should add a fountain or drip system.
* Keep windows and doors properly screened. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
* Clean clogged gutters, and periodically check them to ensure water is flowing freely.
* Ensure there is no standing water pooling under decks.
* Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
* If you must spend time outdoors during peak mosquito times, avoid wearing shorts or short-sleeved apparel, dark colors, loose-fitting garments, open-toe shoes and sweet-smelling perfumes or colognes. Instead, wear long pants and sleeves, and be sure to use an insect repellant containing DEET.
* If you are concerned about mosquito activity on your property, contact a pest management company or local mosquito abatement district that may be able to treat your back yard, specifically trees and shrubs where mosquitoes hide during the day.
For more information, visit www.pestworld.org.

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