Mosquitoes spread some of the world’s deadliest and most debilitating diseases including Zika virus, West Nile virus, malaria, chikungunya and dengue fever. Mosquitoes are such a serious health threat that June 25 through July 1, 2017 has been declared National Mosquito Control Awareness Week.
To reduce the chances of getting mosquito bites, limit your outdoor activities during the times of day when mosquitoes are most active—an hour before and after dawn and an hour before and after dusk. Keep as much of your skin covered as possible by wearing long sleeves and long pants. Wear light-colored clothing because mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors. Using mosquito repellent is another good way to keep mosquitoes—and mosquito bites—at bay. Apply repellent directly to skin or clothing as recommended on the product label.
Reduce mosquito breeding grounds by disposing of cans, plastic containers, old tires and other items that can collect water. Turn over wheelbarrows and empty children’s wading pools. Clean clogged roof gutters that can become prime mosquito-breeding pools after it rains. Periodically empty the saucers under ceramic pots to make sure they are not harboring mosquito larvae.
To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in places where water collects—including ponds, bird baths, animal watering troughs, gutters and rain barrels—use a mosquito control product that contains BTI to kill mosquito larvae such as Mosquito Dunks®. BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) is a naturally occurring bacterium that kills mosquito larvae but is harmless to other living things. When a donut-shaped Mosquito Dunk® is placed in standing water, the BTI in the Dunk™ will kill mosquito larvae for up to 30 days.