Every year, the week of June 24 marks Mosquito Awareness Week. We all know mosquitoes are some of the most annoying pests around, but they are also some of the most dangerous. Mosquitoes spread diseases like Zika, West Nile Virus, Dengue, Chikungunya, and East Equine Encephalitis Virus. Having mosquitoes around is not only a nuisance but can also lead to serious health issues.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take to lower your chance of getting bit by a mosquito. Read below to learn more about mosquito control.
The Three Ds
The American Mosquito Control Association recommends following three steps to keep mosquitoes away. The "Three Ds" are:
1. Drain: Empty any outdoor water containers at least once per week. This includes bird baths and kiddie pools.
2. Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing when outside.
3. Defend: Wear a repellant such as DEET when spending time outside.
Plant Natural Mosquito Repellents
There are several plants that are known to help repel mosquitoes. While planting a few around your property might help lessen mosquitoes, a large infestation should be treated with insecticides.
Plants with mosquito repelling abilities include:
Again, while these plants may help repel mosquitoes slightly, treating with an insecticide is the most effective way to combat mosquitoes in the yard.
Treat Your Yard
Yards, especially those with drainage problems, thick foliage, and high brush, are a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can make playing outdoors in the summer difficult. By treating your yard throughout the summer with an insecticide like Bifen IT or Tempo, the mosquito population will be reduced to more manageable levels. Larvicides like mosquito dunks are a smart way to treat standing water areas such as bird baths, rain barrels, and unused pools. The dunks float on the water's surface, gradually releasing a larvicide into the water. The larvicide prevents mosquito larvae from growing into adult mosquitoes.
Learn How to Defend Against Disease-Spreading Mosquitoes
Taking the steps above will help get rid of mosquitoes, lowering your chances of getting bit. Other steps you can take include keeping your grass cut, keeping your lawn clear of debris (especially old tires), emptying anything that can hold water (including bird baths and planters), and cutting shrubs and bushes that touch your home. Watch the video below for more information on how to keep your lawn mosquito free or read our guide to learn how to defend against disease-spreading mosquitoes