Get those mozzies to buzz off

ITCHY: More mosquitoes around after the rain. Photo credit: Pixabay

ASK people what they love about the warm weather months and you’ll get a variety of answers.

They love the sun, the heat, swimming, walking and just being outside with family and friends. However, if you ask them what they like least about being outdoors during those same months, the answer is simple… mosquitoes.

Everyone is familiar with the buzzing of a mosquito by their ear or the itchy sensation that accompanies a mosquito bite. However, concern regarding mosquitoes has grown in recent years as these insects are capable of transmitting potentially serious diseases to humans, including the West Nile virus and Zika virus.

Follow these tips to reduce biting mosquitoes around your property:

  1. Ditch that standing water. A small puddle of water may seem insignificant to you, but it is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Eliminate stagnant water areas — including emptying the water out of clogged gutters, flower pots, bird baths and children’s pools — and you deny mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs. Don’t ignore even the smallest water collection as mosquitoes can breed in as little as a 1/2 inch of water — that’s about the size of a bottle cap.
  2. Protect the indoors. Adding screens to your windows and doors allows you to welcome warm, fresh air into your home without letting mosquitoes in as well. Carefully inspect existing screens and repair any holes using a patch kit.
  3. Minimize outdoor activity at peak times. Mosquito species are most active at dawn and dusk, so try to remain indoors during these periods. Plan indoor activities for these times and save your outdoor fun for time periods when mosquitoes are less active.
  4. Double your protection. Long clothing that is loose fitting will make it harder for mosquitoes to bite. Also, use a repellent that contains at least 20 per cent of either DEET, picaridin or IR3535, or at least 30 per cent lemon eucalyptus oil.