Warm weather mixed with large amounts of stagnant water from the rainfall creates the perfect condition for breeding mosquitos. National Mosquito Control Awareness Week runs from June 23-29, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) recommends people follow the three D’s to keep mosquitoes away.
• Drain: eliminate all sources of standing water and emptying water containers once a day.
• Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
• Defend: Properly apply insect repellent containing an EPA registered active ingredients, such as DEET, picaridin, IR 3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Install screens on windows and doors and keep them in good repair.
Make your yard a mosquito-free zone by: disposing of any tires-tires can breed thousands of mosquitoes; drilling holes in the bottom of recycling containers; clearing roof gutters of debris; cleaning pet water dishes regularly; checking and emptying children’s toys; repairing leaky outdoor faucets; and changing the water in bird baths at least once a week. Encouraging your neighbors to also eliminate sources on their property is critical to a community-wide control program. Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. One female mosquito can produce up to 500 eggs. If their water source is eliminated, so are their offspring. Becky Pryor of the Jasper County Health Department says, “Protecting the health of our community is a shared responsibility and we must pledge to protect ourselves from mosquitos.”
Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. Their bites can spread diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus. AMCA stresses mosquito-borne diseases do not only affect humans – they also kill countless birds, reptiles, animals and endangered species each year.