Mosquitoes aren’t just a nuisance they can be carriers of some very serious diseases. In Idaho we have had several confirmed cases of people being infected with the West Nile Virus. West Nile can cause serious illness in people of any age but those over the age of 50 or who have underlying medical conditions are especially at risk. West Nile symptoms can be very serious and painful and last for days to months. West Nile can also be neuroinvasive and infect the brain causing seizures and paralysis and in rare cases even death. Because of the risks it important to limit exposure to mosquitoes and do all that you can to keep your property from being a mosquito breeding ground.
If you are planning to be outside when and where mosquitoes are active (generally they are most active between dusk and dawn) make sure to wear repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus which are all EPA-approved repellents. It is also recommended that you wear clothing that covers up your skin and to cover baby strollers and carriers with mosquito netting.
To prevent mosquitoes from ruining an evening get together on the patio, you can place a simple box fan nearby to blow mosquitoes away from you and your guests. They are unable to fly against strong wind currents.
To prevent mosquitoes from coming inside, make sure that you have screens on your windows and doors and repair when torn. Also check and make sure that you have adequate seals on your doors.
The best thing that you can do to prevent mosquito bites is to do all that you can to prevent mosquitoes from hatching on your property. Mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in standing water, especially water that has collected dead leaves, grass clippings, or any organic material. They will not lay eggs in water if it is too clean. The amount of water that they will lay their eggs in can be as small as a bottle cap.
With this in mind here are some common objects and places that produce mosquitoes:
Rain Gutters – when rain gutters are clogged with leaves they can hold standing water as well.
Swimming pools – swimming pools of all sizes need to be kept clean and covered when not in use. Pool covers can also be breeding sites for mosquitoes, so make sure they are fastened tight.
Tires – if you are storing tires, put them in the shed or garage so that they don’t fill with water. Any tire swings should have a hold drilled in the bottom to allow water to escape.
Garbage Cans – like tires, keep them inside or drill a hole in the bottom.
Flower Pots – Even small drain dishes on a flower pot can hold enough water to produce hundreds of mosquitoes
Tarps – Always keep tarps tight on boats, RV’s, or other items so that they don’t have depressions that can fill with water.
Boats – If you boat isn’t covered, turn it upside down so that it won’t collect water or remove the plug in the bottom of the boat so that it can drain.
Wheel Barrows/Buckets – Make sure to check for standing water and keep them turned over to prevent water collecting in these type of items.
Vegetation – Overgrown vegetation can also contribute to mosquito breeding. Yards with well-trimmed lawns and vegetation have fewer places for mosquitoes to hide and breed.
Bird Baths/Dog Bowls/Troughs – any outside water containers should be emptied frequently and filled with fresh clean water.
Irrigation – Do not over-irrigate your lawn and landscape not only can it lead to tremendous hatch offs of mosquitoes it can also contribute to other fungal and plant diseases.
As the weather warms up the mosquitoes will reproduce more rapidly. If you suspect that there are potential mosquito production areas on or near your property call your local mosquito abatement district for recommendations.
At Organic Solutions! Inc., we want you and your family to have a safe, happy, and healthy summer. We can help you have a well-manicured and healthy landscape. If you need help with lawn mowing, trimming, pruning, or weeding, give us a call for a free estimate, 208-884-8986 or contact us by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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