Mosquito season is here. This has taken on a critical importance in many states in the south and eastern parts of the United States and in all of Central and South America. This is because mosquitos can carry, among other things, the Zika virus, which has been shown to produce serious brain damage in the unborn, and potentially serious disease in adults. Mosquitos also carry other serious diseases, including some which affect dogs and horses. Examples include West Nile virus, Heartworm, Dengue fever, Malaria, and even Ebola. It is high time to discuss mosquito bite prevention.
First one must note that mosquitos need standing water to reproduce, and even a tiny amount will do. Natural bodies of water such as ponds, puddles, and sloughs can breed mosquitos. Manmade water collections such as buckets, tarps which have collected rainwater, birdbaths and the like will provide very suitable breeding ground as well.
Eliminate standing water around your home. Get rid of any debris in your yard or patio (e.g. toys, wheelbarrows, pots etc.) which could harbor mosquito larvae. Change the water in your birdbaths at least once per week. Fill in any low spots in the yard.
For larger bodies of water such as a pond or fountain, purchase “ Mosquito Bits “ or “Mosquito Dunks”. These are pellets or pucks of biological agents which interfere with mosquito reproduction. Once example is Bacillus Thuringiensis, which does not harm the environment.
Install replace or repair your screens. You will want to enjoy the summer breeze without worrying about the mosquitos.
Invest in some lightweight cool summer clothes. White gauze shirts with long skirts or lightweight palazzo pants are a pretty option. Most outdoor clothing companies such as North Face or Patagonia offer mosquito resistant shirt which are also usually sun protective as well.
Buy some DEET based mosquito repellant. This is the only mosquito repellant which has been proven to work. Moreover, it has been shown to be safe in pregnancy. Use your insect repellent correctly.
- Read the instructions and precautions of your product.
- Only use on exposed skin and clothing.
- Do not use near eyes and mouth.
- Apply to face by spraying hands or cloth, the wiping on.
- Never use on injured skin.
- Do not breathe it.
- Do not use near food.
- Do not use it on animals.
- Keep out of reach of children.
- Do not apply to children’s hands.
- When returning indoors, wash treated skin and clothes with soap and water.
Stay indoors during the twilight hours when mosquitos are most active.
Stay tuned next week for more summer health tips on Wellness Wednesday.