Everything You Need to Know To Win the Battle against Mosquitoes
Few creatures are more loathed than mosquitoes—especially around the Washington D.C. area. One of the ultimate buzz kills of any backyard celebration is having uninvited, ankle-biting, bloodsucking mosquitoes crashing your party. In addition to leaving behind their gifts of itchy, red welts on the skin, the prevalence of potential disease transmission from mosquitoes is on the rise. At American Pest, we’ve put together your summer survival guide to winning the war against these backyard brutes.
1. Reduce standing water.
Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in as little as a cup of stagnant water. Carefully walk your property and dump any item that collects rain—such as toys, lawn and garden equipment, outdoor play equipment and rain gauges. Drill holes in the bottom of recycling bins and garbage cans to allow the water to drain out. Also, be sure to dump the water that collects in the bottom of planter saucers and pots and flush bird baths at least once per week. If nearby trees have holes where water can collect, you can fill them with foam sealant.
2. Keep your gutters, splash blocks, downspouts, and drainage basins clear from debris.
Many people fail to realize how easy it is for mosquitoes and other household pests to thrive on or near sources of stagnant water. Reducing moisture collection and organic matter decomposition goes a long way towards helping to eliminate nuisance pests from your property. Drainage basins can be particularly troubling for homeowners--if and when they do not properly drain out within a few days.
3. Plant rosemary, mint, and lavender.
Replacing dense ornamental perennials and mosquito-loving ground covers with strong-smelling, herbaceous plants is a smart way to repel mosquitoes from the areas you like to spend time outdoors. Ground covers like ivy, periwinkle, and pachysandra are particularly attractive to mosquitoes, and will seemingly draw thousands to rest on the undersides of densely-packed leaves.
4. Guard your skin with DEET.
We stand with the EPA, CDC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations when it comes to protecting yourself and your children from disease-transmitting mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, body odors, and other secretions. Products containing DEET work to hide our “smell” from mosquitoes, making it difficult for them to locate and bite us. When used correctly and in conjunction with proper outdoor attire, many bites can be prevented, thereby limiting your exposure to disease pathogens spread by infected mosquitoes.
How to properly protect your children with DEET
5. Increase air flow.
Although many mosquito species can fly up to 1-3 miles in search of a blood meal, it is widely accepted that they are considered to be poor fliers. This is because mosquitoes truly do not stand a chance against poor weather or a steady breeze. Installing ceiling fans, or placing oscillating fans in areas where you like to relax outdoors, can help to thwart these nuisance biting insects. In particularly still areas, citronella torches and candles may also help to confuse mosquitoes, while adding ambiance to your outdoor oasis.
When to have your yard treated for mosquitoes?
If mosquitoes continue to be a problem for you and your family, consider the benefits of professional mosquito treatments. Treatments like these aim to significantly impact the mosquito populations around a property, and are an effective means to control mosquitoes in backyards, around patios, and other outdoor spaces. After the application has a chance to dry, you and yours can safely return to the area, with little to no disruption to your regular routine. Mosquito treatments are available for homes in Washington D.C., and several counties in Maryland, and Northern Virginia and costs less than you might think. Contact American Pest today for your free consultation and estimate.
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