Although the news is often filled during summer and overly-warm, off-season months with stories about adults and children who contracted blood borne diseases like West Nile and Zika viruses through mosquito bites, many people continue to incorrectly believe that mosquitoes are merely an irritation. Some only have to deal with intensely itchy skin. Those who have a sensitivity to mosquito bites deal with mild-to-extreme welts that take days to clear up. Yet, a blood borne pathogen transmitted from a mosquito bite can actually cause life-long chronic health problems and even death.
A variety of research studies have shown that some people, such as pregnant women, anyone with Type O blood and beer drinkers, typically attract mosquitoes more than others for different biochemical reasons. Whether you’re a member of one of these groups or not, you can decrease the risk of being bitten. Follow these four steps to protect your health and well-being:
Stay Indoors at Certain Times of Day
Mosquitoes can become active and bite at any time of day or night during warm months. That said, the majority of mosquito species in the United States are typically the most active at sunrise before the outdoor temperature increases and sunset after the temperature starts to drop. Some species increase their activities a few hours before dusk around mid-to-late afternoon. Since dense mosquito activity often occurs near moist, cool, shaded breeding areas, such as locations that have a lot of standing water and shade from buildings, shrubs, trees and marsh plants, it’s important that you remain in sunny locations during high activity periods.
Remove Moist Breeding Spots from Around Your Home
Since mosquitoes prefer to breed and lay their eggs in areas that have a lot of moisture, you can decrease their numbers and the risk of bites by simply altering the landscape around your home so that it isn’t so attractive to them. Remove entirely or cover when not in use any standing water sources, such as old tires, up-turned buckets, rain barrels, pools and hot tubs. Fill pot holes so that they don’t become puddles after storms. Clean gutters and ground-level storm drainage spots regularly to prevent the build up of debris that can cause rain water to pool. Add drain holes to outdoor plant pots to prevent the formation of stagnant water.
Take Preventative Physical Measures Before Going Outside
Many mosquito species are attracted to certain body odors that are byproducts of bacteria and sweating. They also find carbon dioxide attractive. If you’re heading outside, even if you plan to sweat during some sort of outdoor activity, clean existing sweat from sleep or intensive indoor activity off of your skin via a bath or shower. Plan ahead by picking light-colored long sleeve shirts, pants and socks that protect body parts that mosquitoes would normally access easily like the arms, legs and tops of your feet. Light-colored clothing reflects away heat instead of absorbing it, which helps to decrease overheating and sweating. Also, apply natural or commercial insect repellent to your skin and clothing. Since mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, consider wearing a face mask while walking from your home to a vehicle and while working outdoors during high activity periods.
Hire a Mosquito Control Specialist to Set Up a Home Barrier
A mosquito control expert has access to specialized knowledge and tools designed to create an effective barrier around your home that not only kills mosquitoes that come in contact with it, but that also makes the area around your home unattractive to these pests. A pest control expert can quickly and easily apply this chemical barrier in one day. They only then need to refresh it approximately every three weeks. A professional can also inspect your home and the surrounding landscape and property and provide you with guidance on how to make your property less attractive to mosquitoes overall.