How to Reduce Mosquito Bites
Summer is the peak season for spending time outside in Burke and across Northern Virginia and Maryland. It’s also peak season for mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases. So, it’s no wonder that many homeowners and parents are looking for ways to reduce mosquito bites.
The National Pest Management Association and entomologists nationally report that this has been one of the heaviest mosquito seasons in recent years. Mild winters, climate change, and a hotter and wetter spring and summer create ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed and thrive around homes.
Mosquitoes Can Be Deadly Business
Beyond the annoyance of mosquito bites, mosquitoes are considered one of the most dangerous insects and the world’s deadliest animal. While the recently ended “Shark Week” gets a lot of attention, mosquitoes kill more people worldwide than any other animal. Thankfully, most of the deadliest diseases spread by mosquitoes are not common in the Washington, D.C. region or the U.S.
West Nile virus is the most serious illness spread by mosquitoes around the DMV. This illness that peaks in late summer and early fall has been detected in all 48 states and Washington, D.C. People infected with West Nile can develop fevers, headaches, muscle aches, skin rash, and loss of appetite. These symptoms can last up to a week, though they can result in encephalitis or inflammation of the brain, meningitis, or flaccid paralysis!
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is less common, but the number of cases has risen in recent years. This rare disease spread by infected mosquitoes can cause brain infections. Most U.S. cases occur in eastern states. Flu-like symptoms include chills, fever, and joint pain. Severe cases can lead to vomiting, convulsions, and even coma. EEE is fatal to about 30 percent of people infected.
Most cases of Dengue Fever in the U.S. are among people who contract the disease while traveling overseas. Common symptoms include high fever, rash, headache, and pain behind the eyes, and muscle, joint, and bone pain. Abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, difficulty breathing, overt bleeding and bruising, shock, and often death occur in extreme cases.
Current research does not show any evidence that mosquitoes or other biting insects spread SARS-CoV-2, the virus that spreads COVID-19.
Mosquitoes are difficult to control because of how easily they can breed and multiply. Mosquitoes can bread in as little as a teaspoon of water and lay their eggs in locations found around most homes. Eliminating these breeding sites is the best way to mosquito-proof around your home.
Tips to Reduce Mosquito Bites Around Your Home:
Eliminate standing water. Dump stagnant water at least weekly. Look for and drain clean birdbaths, dump water from planters, pool covers, kiddie pools, tires, and other toys and containers. Make sure downspouts and drainage pipes do not have standing water. Clean leaves and other debris from gutters.
The use of repellent sprays that contain 10 percent to 30 percent DEET can help deter mosquitoes for up to 8 hours. Spray the repellent on clothes or any exposed skin.
Floor fans or ceiling fans on porches can create enough of a breeze to keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes are week fliers and even a slow fan can create enough breeze to keep these pesky biters away.
Move Your Workout Indoors
Walking or jogging is especially popular at this time of the year. But breaking a sweat, carbon dioxide, and other chemicals and pheromones released when you exercise attract mosquitoes. The sunrise and sunset times that many people like to exercise outside are also popular with mosquitoes because of the cooler temperatures. Consider working out mid-day or move your exercise indoors.
Choose the Right Clothes
Some companies are marketing clothing treated with chemicals to help deter mosquitoes. Clothing made with synthetic fibers such as polyester, nylon, and rayon is more tightly woven than cotton and can help prevent bites. Of course, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants is an effective way to protect your skin from mosquito bites.
Skip Floral Fragrances
Research has shown that in addition to be attracted to carbon dioxide, floral fragrances in perfumes, skin, and hair products attract mosquitoes. Go au naturale and you may be less attractive to mosquitoes!
Hire a Pest Professional to Protect Your Yard from Mosquitoes
A mosquito reduction program from My Pest Pros can help identify and eliminate mosquito breeding around your home. Our trained pest professionals know the conducive conditions that mosquitoes prefer for breeding and nesting. Our technicians will inspect these areas, apply products aimed at preventing mosquito breeding in areas with standing water, and then target non-flowering foliage and other areas mosquitoes prefer. Hiring a pest control company is especially helpful if you live around wooded areas, have lots of bushes and other foliage, or live near ponds, streams, and other waterways. Our pet and kid-friendly treatments are also a popular alternative to slathering chemicals on your skin.