01 Jun Be Mosquito-Smart this Summer
The summer of 2017 is shaping up to be an especially mosquito-ridden year. A mild winter and wet spring has led to increased mosquito populations across the country. As the cold weather thaws, mosquitoes come out of hibernation, growing and thriving as the summer months progress. Mosquito season usually starts when the daytime temperatures consistently stay at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. In Utah, that’s usually right around mid-April.
That means that right now is the time to take precautions against mosquitoes in your yard, home, and personal habits.
What are the dangers of mosquitoes?
As blood-sucking parasites, mosquitoes can be major carriers of disease. Although here in America, the danger for many mosquito-borne illnesses is low, there’s still some risk of West Nile Virus in the Mountain West region. And with the rates of international travel, we can’t ever be completely free from contagion dangers.
Of course, beyond the danger of severe disease, mosquitoes and mosquito bites are one of the biggest annoyances of summer. That itchiness and swarming can ruin camping trips, outdoor parties, and even follow us indoors.
Check for standing water
To minimize mosquito habitats and breeding grounds, check your yard for standing water. Look in empty planter pots, rain gutters, and areas where water pools in your lawn and yard. It only takes a few square inches of standing water to produce thousands of young mosquitoes. You can treat danger areas with mosquito-repellent that will prevent new swarms.
Tips to keep mosquitoes away
If you like to spend time out in your yard during cool summer evenings, or keep your window open to enjoy the air, here are some tips to keep them away from your living and entertaining spaces:
- Don’t trust electric zappers or high-pitched frequency machines that claim to keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes aren’t attracted to light (as flies and moths are) and there’s no evidence that high frequencies keep them away, either.
- Keep your screen doors shut when you open the windows in the evenings. Mosquitoes are especially active at dawn and dusk. However, even screens won’t always keep them at bay. Consider tighter-weave screens if mosquitoes are a big problem for your home. You can also discourage mosquitoes from windows by placing coffee grounds and essential oils like mint, lavender, and lemon eucalyptus.
- Catnip and feverfew are repellent to mosquitoes. Plant them around your doorway, windows, and around your garden.
- The best way to keep mosquitoes away is to call in a professional. We can check for breeding sites, plant strategic repellents, and advise you on the best ways to keep mosquitoes away from your home.
Bug spray is one of the best ways we know to repel mosquitoes. Formulas containing DEET or picaridin will be the most effective and last the longest. However, many people hate the powerful smell, and even the feeling, of bug spray. So, if you choose to go the natural, DIY route, opt for lemon eucalyptus oil. Citronella and tea tree oil need to be reapplied frequently in order to keep the stinging pests at bay.