Summer is a beloved time of year that’s often dominated by time spent outdoors soaking up summer sun. But all that extra time outdoors can make people vulnerable to mosquitoes. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, mosquitoes are more than just hungry, unwanted backyard guests. In fact, mosquito-borne diseases, including the Zika virus, the West Nile virus and dengue, pose significant threats. While not all mosquitoes carry disease, even those that don’t can still bite humans, leaving them to deal with discomfort and itchiness. Taking measures to control mosquitoes outside your home can reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.
- Remove places where mosquitoes like to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in standing water. Once a week during summer and other times of the year when mosquitoes might be buzzing around, walk around your property to remove standing water. Bird baths, flower pots, kids’ toys, pools, old tires, and trash containers are some of the more common places where water can collect and present perfect places for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Turn these over to empty any standing water you find. Remove empty flower pots and old tires from the property, and make sure water storage containers are tightly covered at all times.
- Address areas where mosquitoes like to rest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that mosquitoes like to rest in dark, humid areas. This includes car ports, garages and beneath patio furniture. Outdoor insecticides can prevent mosquitoes from resting in such areas. When inside a home, mosquitoes may be resting under a sink, in closets, beneath the furniture or in a laundry room. Indoor insect sprays and indoor insect foggers work quickly and can be highly effective, but reapplication might be necessary, as they won’t prevent more mosquitoes from entering the home at a later time.
- Check your window screens. Mosquitoes might prefer the outside, but that doesn’t mean they won’t enter a home looking for meals if given the opportunity. Inspect window screens to look for holes that may provide mosquitoes with access to your home’s interior, replacing any damaged screens immediately. When leaving or entering a home, make a concerted effort to close doors as quickly as possible.