Mosquito season is here. These pesky little creatures have lived on the earth for more than 100 million years and there are 3500 varieties, which are found on every continent. And while mosquitoes do bite and cause diseases, mosquitoes also contribute to a better world as a source of food source for fish, birds and amphibians, as well as pollinators for plants, like the cocoa trees. Who knew?
But since most of us generally regard mosquitoes as annoying pests, there are measures you can implement around your home to reduce your chance of getting bitten.
First, mosquitoes lay eggs near water, so get rid of standing water!! Empty and turn over anything that can hold water—from the dishes under your potted plants, to buckets and toys, trash containers and yard debris. Old tires are very attractive breeding spots for mosquitoes, so if you have them laying around, store them somewhere that is dry.
Fill holes in your yard. Keep gutters cleaned out and fix leaky faucets. Clean and refresh your bird bath at least once each week and empty kiddie pools when not in use. Keep your rain barrels covered with a fine mesh fabric to prevent mosquitoes from getting through.
If you love to garden—try not to do so in the early morning or early evening when mosquitoes abound. If you do, wear protective clothing and consider using a mosquito repellent—chemical or natural (http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/alternative-mosquito-repellents#1). If you plan to be outside, wear loose fitting, breathable clothing and light colors. Dark colors attract the bugs like no other—supposedly because they look like the dark fur of animals they normally prey on.
So, to make your property less attractive to mosquitoes, destroy potential breeding grounds near your home. When there are no good places to lay eggs, mosquitoes will be forced to look elsewhere. Here’s to a safe and enjoyable summer!
Blog author: Janine Rybka, District Administrator