What Mosquito Season Means for DC
Summertime, summertime, sum- sum- summertime! Summertime in DC is a beautiful time of year. Time for picnics at the pool, badminton in the park, and just relaxing in the backyard as butterflies flit here and there. But there is one thing about summertime that, arguably, no one enjoys. We're talking about mosquitoes. These blood-sucking insects can ruin a perfectly good summer day, and not only because they cause itchy red welts on our skin. Those itchy bites can be the vector for several dangerous diseases. In today's article, we will hit on those issues as well as some things you can do to reduce mosquito populations on your property. Then, we'll talk about the best mosquito control solution.
Why Do Mosquito Populations Increase In Summer?
In our area, mosquitoes are pretty bad during the spring but they're even worse in the summer! The ideal temperature for mosquitoes is above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When it is cold, mosquitoes slow down, but, when the temperature reaches the 80's, they can become much more active. Since mosquitoes need water in order to reproduce, our do-it-yourself mosquito prevention tips will focus on reducing water sources on your property. But, first, let's take a look at why it is not good to have mosquitoes in the first place.
Dangers Brought By Mosquitoes
In addition to the maddening, itchy bites that mosquitoes can leave all over your skin, there are many sicknesses that can be transmitted by mosquitoes, including malaria and West Nile virus. West Nile is a dangerous condition claims human lives every year in the United States. Zika is another mosquito-borne disease to be mindful of. This virus can cause microcephaly in unborn children, which can have lifelong implications for the entire family. It is also connected with Guillain-Barre syndrome which can cause a prickling sensation in a person's toes, ankles, wrists, and fingers. Over time, this can advance into weakness in the legs that then spreads to the upper body, a difficulty with talking, chewing and swallowing, can impair the movement of the eyes.
Other illnesses associated with mosquito bites include chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever — the list goes on. Many of these diseases come with a wide range of symptoms that are often mistaken for symptoms of flu or the common cold. If you have ever experienced a fever and body aches that lasted a few days, you may have actually contracted a mosquito-borne illness and just not known it. The bottom line is, there are ways to reduce populations of mosquitoes on your property so that you can not only enjoy your yard more comfortably, but be better protected from dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses as well.
DIY Summer Mosquito Reduction Tips
Mosquitoes need water to multiply so, it makes sense that the less water you have on your property, the fewer mosquitoes you will have hatching nearby. The trick to DIY mosquito reduction during the summer is reducing places where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
- Make sure gutters are in good repair and are not clogged. It only takes a half a cup of water for mosquitoes to breed.
- Bird baths are another place mosquitoes love to lay eggs. If you have bird baths, change the water weekly.
- Make sure toys and other objects in your yard that can collect still water are picked up and put away.
- If you have kiddie pools, be sure to empty them and turn them over when they are not in use.
- Poke a hole in the bottom of objects such as tire swings or other objects that cannot be moved or emptied in order to drain any standing water.
- Put tarps at an angle over large objects that collect water, so rainwater runs off.
- Trim back vegetation from areas that tend to stay wet after it rains.
- Plant mosquito-repelling plants such as citronella grass, lavender, scented geraniums, citrosum, rosemary, marigolds, basil, sage, catnip, peppermint and lemon balm on your property. It is important to point out that mosquito-repelling plants do not effectively keep mosquitoes away on their own and are not the end all to mosquito control. They are a good addition to any landscaping, however, and can help to deter mosquitoes when paired with other prevention methods.
What Doesn't Work Against Mosquitoes
- Foggers — foggers only have a limited impact on mosquitoes. This is because they don't attack the source of the problem. Click here for more information on foggers
- Bug zappers — while these machines are great at luring mosquitoes onto your property, they are only effective at killing male mosquitoes, which do not bite.
- Smoke — if you have a backyard fire pit, don't expect that smoke to keep mosquitoes away unless you're standing in an eye-burning cloud of smoke. Mosquito torches aren't much better at keeping mosquitoes away.
American Pest's Low-Cost Mosquito Control
For the lowest price around, American Pest offers Seasonal Mosquito Control, which is guaranteed to eliminate these pests during their peak seasons. With your initial service, a trained pest professional will walk around your property, identify problem areas, and perform treatments. Routine treatments are administered once a month, usually from March to October, and service can be started at any time.
If you would like to enjoy your summer without the headache of dealing with irritating and dangerous mosquitoes, reach out to American Pest today!
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