Temperatures are not the only thing on the rise this summer. Mosquitoes thrive in the warmer and wetter summertime conditions, so populations can be expected to increase this time of year. Nearly all female mosquitoes feed on blood in order to produce eggs, and they are willing to risk your swats in order to get it! With more hungry mosquitoes flying around, it is important to protect yourself and your family from these biting pests. One way to fight the bite this summer is to cover all exposed skin with long sleeves and pants when you plan on spending time outdoors where mosquitoes may be present. If keeping completely covered isn’t practical, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends applying mosquito repellents that contain the active ingredients DEET, pinardin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535.
Another way to fight the bite is by eliminating mosquito breeding sites from around your home. Mosquitoes require standing water to breed because their larvae are aquatic. If water is present for more than five days in a row, it has the potential to breed mosquitoes. Different species may prefer different types of water sources to lay their eggs, but most larvae can develop in stagnant pools that are less than half an inch deep. Many of the items commonly found in your backyard such as empty pots and bird-baths are ideal water-holding containers for mosquitoes. In addition, clogged gutters or even low areas in your yard can turn into water reservoirs that mosquitoes could breed in. So the key is to not let any water stagnate on your property. Inspect your yard frequently for low areas or items such as bottles, barrels, or other vessels that may hold water. Tip over any water containing items regularly to prevent larvae from making it to adulthood, and to reduce the number of mosquito breeding sites around your home.
While you can prevent mosquitoes from breeding on your property, you can’t control all of the conditions in your neighbourhood. Additionally, adult mosquitoes can travel significant distances to find a meal.