How to Minimize the Mosquito Nuisance this Summer
Summer may be technically halfway over, but hot and humid weather doesn’t stick around in Florida for just those three months. The same can be said for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are a fact of life for most regions in the United States, particularly in those with warm, humid climates. Florida, in particular, is a desirable habitat for many mosquito varieties, with the heat and humidity offering a perfect, moisture-rich breeding ground. At the very least, mosquitoes create a nuisance for humans and pets alike. However, beyond simply being annoying, mosquitoes also carry danger in some cases.
Dangers of Mosquito Bites
Before discussing the dangers caused by mosquitoes, it is important to first understand why they bite in the first place. Only female mosquitoes bite because they are the only ones who require protein that is found in human and animal blood. That protein is required for egg production. Because mosquito bites give access to the bloodstream, those pests carrying bacteria or active infections can transmit that to humans upon biting. There are several diseases spread by mosquito bites, including malaria, dengue, and West Nile Virus. Not all mosquitoes carry these diseases, and not all mosquito bites lead to infection in the host. However, it does happen – in rare cases, leading to serious illness and/or death.
Preventing Mosquito Infestations Around the Home
Once a female mosquito collects the protein needed to produce eggs, she then looks for a place in which to do so. This requires water, so damp places and areas with lots of moisture are extra appealing. Preventing mosquito infestations starts with limiting areas of standing water in and around your home. Water tends to collect in basements as well as under awnings or patio furniture. Ensure these areas have proper drainage and remove any standing water as soon as it’s noticed.
On the exterior of the building, planting herbs and plants that naturally repel mosquitoes is another great tactic for keeping mosquitoes away. Effective plants include lavender, basil, and citronella. These can be planted either directly in the ground or in pots that are easily moved around as needed for extra protection in certain areas.
For those with swimming pools, ponds, or any other water feature, properly preparing those water spaces is critical. Treat pools with chlorine and keep ponds stocked and free from overgrown plant life. Stocking ponds – with the right types of fish – is an important step because they will eat mosquito larvae left by females, slowing population growth significantly. Goldfish, koi, and minnows are all effective options. Most people don’t want to use chlorine on smaller water features, such as bird baths or fountains. While completely understandable, if the water in these fixtures remains untreated, be sure to swap it out regularly.
How to Limit Mosquito Bites
Taking some of the above steps will help reduce the chance of mosquitoes inhabiting and multiplying in or around your home. However, it is near impossible to completely prevent pests from appearing. Luckily, even when mosquitoes are present, there are several tactics you and your family can implement to reduce the chance that those pests choose you as their next protein source.
Opt for Light-Colored Clothing:
Mosquitoes tend to be attracted to bright or dark colors. Choosing lighter options often significantly reduces the potential for the pests to bite you. Especially during long periods spent outside, select clothing that is white, beige, light gray, or pale yellow whenever possible. Also – while not always easy in hot weather – cover your arms and legs if you plan on spending a long time outside in mosquito-ridden areas. While it may mean you are a little warmer, your skin and immune system will thank you.
Stay Away from Scented Body Products:
Perfumes and scented lotions may smell great to humans, but they also smell great to mosquitoes and can attract them right to you. Especially when planning on being outdoors, opt for unscented lotions if needed and leave the perfumes and colognes inside.
Invest in an (EPA Certified) Insect Repellent:
Your local supermarket or pharmacy likely has an entire shelf dedicated to mosquito and other insect repellent products. There are several great options out there, but also many that aren’t overly safe or friendly to the environment. To responsibly choose a repellent, look for one certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Read all product information and instructions to ensure proper use as well.
Professional Mosquito Treatments from a Local Pest Control Provider
Above all other precautions or solutions, a mosquito treatment from a local pest expert is the best way to defend your home (or business) from mosquitoes throughout the summer and into the warmer months of autumn. Any type of insecticide is most effective and safest when applied by a trained professional.
The team at Knockout Pest Control is highly trained and certified in all aspects of mosquito prevention and infestation treatment. Equipped with the most effective treatments on the market, our technicians can quickly treat any existing infestations and also take steps to prevent them in the first place – all done while keeping family members and pets free from harm.
Mosquitoes are just one of many pests that like to inhabit Florida homes and businesses and the area just around them. Establishing an ongoing relationship with pest control experts means an added layer of protection and defense against these pests and the risks they bring to humans and their pets.