The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and mosquitoes are back with a vengeance. While this may seem premature, the recent rains following a very wet winter have created perfect conditions for a very strong – and early – mosquito season.
Mosquitoes breed fast, needing only 10 to 14 days to mature into an adult. Once they are fully grown, they’ll do whatever it takes to get a meal – flying as far as 14 miles to satiate their craving.
While mosquitoes most often leave behind itchy, red bumps on their victims, they can also spread diseases like West Nile Virus and Encephalitis in humans and transmit heartworms to the family pets.
To prevent mosquitoes from invading your home, here are some proactive tips you can take from our experts:
• Eliminate sources of standing water such as old tires, children's wading pools, birdbaths and flower pots;
• Introduce mosquito-eating fish such as gambusia, green sunfish, bluegills and minnows to a home pond;
• Screen windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside homes;
• Cut back or get rid of unnecessary vegetation around the home where mosquitoes can breed and/or nest;
• Keep rain gutters cleaned out to prevent water from standing in drains;
• When swimming pools aren’t in use, keep them covered to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs;
• Remove water that has collected in tree holes hollow stumps; and
• Consider using yellow bug light bulbs in outdoor lighting fixtures – the bulbs reduce the number of flying insects by emitting a soft yellow light that these pests can’t see.
These tips can be used now and throughout the summer months to help keep mosquitoes at bay.