For many, summer is a time to get away, get outside and have some fun. However, there is one insect that is just waiting to spoil your summer fun and relaxation … mosquitoes!
These pesky insects don’t just leave red, itchy welts. They also pose a serious threat to our health.
Several harmful diseases carried and transmitted by mosquitoes, include West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, Malaria, St. Louis Encephalitis, Dengue, Chikungunya, and Yellow Fever. Mosquitoes can also expose our pets to heartworm.
For more information on mosquito-borne diseases, visit the Arizona Department of Health Services. Here are some tips to help you avoid mosquitoes in the months ahead.
Tips to Avoid Mosquitoes
Eliminate Standing Water
Eliminating standing water is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to warding off mosquitoes. It doesn’t take much water to allow mosquitoes to lay their eggs. It’s important not to overlook any water collection vessel. Check regularly to ensure that toys, buckets and plant saucers are not collecting water, trash containers are covered, outside wading pools are emptied when not in use, and pet water bowls are changed several times throughout the week.
Clean Clogged Gutters
Clogged gutters are notorious for collecting excess water. Not only can this turn into the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes, but potentially cause more serious problems, such as structural damage. Clear your gutters of debris once in the fall and again in the spring (more often as needed).
Trim Trees and Shrubs
In regards to your landscape, it’s important to keep grass, trees and shrubbery properly trimmed. This is because mosquitoes feast on plant nectar when they aren’t on the hunt for their next bite victim. Adult mosquitoes also like to hide in areas of overgrown vegetation to keep out of the sun. Keeping your trees and shrubs trimmed will also help with curb appeal.
Keep Yourself Covered
When outside, apply repellents with 20 to 30% DEET. EPA approved, DEET is currently available to the public in a variety of liquids, lotions, sprays and towelettes. It is widely used to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects. OFF!, Cutter, Repel, BugX, and Rainbow Jungle are four popular insect repellents. These products can be purchased rather inexpensively.