Warm weather is coming—and so are the bugs. While you may not be a big fan of the various types of creepy crawlies, few pose the kind of health threats that mosquitoes do. Mosquitoes carry and transfer a variety of detrimental diseases and viruses. As mosquito season draws near, protect yourself and your family from these pests and their irritating bites by following these tips.
Use Insect Repellent
It makes sense that one of the best ways to protect yourself from mosquito bites is to use insect repellent; however, not all repellents are created equally. According to the CDC, insect repellents should be EPA registered and include one of the following ingredients
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
Repellents that have been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency have been deemed safe and effective, even for women who are pregnant or nursing. There are a variety of different repellents to choose from, each with a different advantage. Keep in mind that there are repellents for both personal and general use. For best results, use personal repellents (spray, ointment, etc.) in combination with general repellents (candles, oils, etc.).
Avoid High Exposure Times
Mosquitoes are most active during the late spring, summer, and early fall months, particularly during the evening hours and when it is humid or damp outside. Mosquitoes typically avoid the middle of the day when the sun and heat are at their highest. Mosquitoes can bite at any time of the day, but you and your family are at higher risk during these times.
Wear Proper Attire
In some situations, the weather prohibits wearing protective clothing, but whenever possible, try to wear clothes that keep your skin covered. In the evening, when temperatures decrease and mosquitoes are most active, consider wearing long pants and shirts made of lightweight fabric. These will keep you cool and protected from harmful mosquito bites.
Minimize Standing Water
Mosquitoes breed in water, so prevent standing water near your home and yard whenever possible. Empty out basins that may catch rainwater, stay away from puddles, and keep pools, ponds, and hot tubs well maintained. Be sure to utilize mosquito repellents when spending an extended amount of time near standing water.
We’ve already discussed how your clothing can be a personal barrier between you and mosquitoes, but you also need to consider establishing barriers in your common areas. During mosquito season, run your air conditioning system and keep your windows shut. If you prefer to have your windows open, be sure they’re screened.
Be Aware of Outbreaks
If you live in or are traveling to an area that is experiencing an outbreak of mosquito-borne illness, use extreme caution. Take advantage of a variety of protection methods; avoid peak exposure times, use personal repellent, and if necessary, seek medical help.
If mosquitoes are preventing your family from enjoying the outdoors at your home, contact Springer for our mosquito protection and control services. We can inspect your yard and surrounding area and treat any problem spots we might find to help protect you, your family, and your pets from a potentially harmful infestation.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Mosquito Bites in Des Moines
Serving Central Iowa since 1989