Mosquitoes can be more than just a minor annoyance around the yard. Each year, more than one million people worldwide die due to diseases carried by mosquito populations. It can be difficult to protect yourself against bites, and so the best way to keep yourself and your family safe is by eliminating mosquito infestations in your yard. Here, we go over the dangers that mosquitoes pose to people living across the U.S and how to keep these pests away from your property.
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
In the summer, warm weather and high humidity levels make the perfect environment for mosquitoes to thrive. Many people struggle to keep these pests from their yard, resorting to chemical bug sprays and citronella candles. However, the first step to eliminating a mosquito problem is to remove the things that attract them to your property. Standing water is a favorite breeding ground of mosquito populations, and stagnant water sitting in outdoor pet bowls, bird baths, trash cans, and more can draw these pests to your property.
In addition to standing water, yard debris can attract mosquitoes. During the day they like to hide in sheltered areas such as in grass clippings, wood piles, high grass, and unkempt shrubs. Once it cools down, they leave their shelter to feed on the closest blood source, which is most likely to be you and your family.
The state of your yard might not be the only thing attracting mosquitoes. How you dress and what you eat can make you an attractive target for mosquitoes looking to feed. Mosquitoes are able to see heat-retaining dark colors better than light ones, and so going outside in black, navy, or other deep shades can increase your chances of encountering one of these pests. Mosquitoes are also attracted to people who drink alcohol, as it raises your heart rate and carbon dioxide emissions. Foods rich in sodium and potassium such as bananas and avocados can also increase your heart rate and carbon dioxide output to draw mosquitoes towards you.
The Health Risks of Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are perhaps best known for transmitting malaria, a deadly disease that’s pervasive primarily in Africa, South Asia, and parts of Central and South America. While malaria isn’t a problem in the U.S., local mosquito populations can transmit other blood-borne diseases. West Nile Virus is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in America. However, only about one in five people show any symptoms, while around one in one hundred and fifty people develop a serious illness that sometimes proves to be fatal. Dengue is another common mosquito-borne illness that affects more than a third of the world’s population, most of whom live in tropical areas. Less common diseases include La Crosse encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis.
Recently, the Zika virus has garnered national attention as a threat to expectant mothers and unborn children. This virus is spread by mosquitoes, and cases began to skyrocket in the U.S. and Puerto Rico in 2015. There has also been a recent rise in the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus starting in 2013. Though this disease isn’t often fatal, it can be painful for those who suffer from it.
Dealing With Your Mosquito Problem
The first step to combating a surge in the mosquito population around your yard is by removing their favorite breeding grounds. You should eliminate all sources of standing or stagnant water sitting around your house. If you have water fixtures or ponds around your property, it’s best to treat them on a regular basis and keep the water clean. You should also clear your yard of debris and overgrown foliage where mosquitoes can take shelter during the day.
For a persistent problem, you can turn to a professional pest control service such as Dial Environmental to get the mosquito population in your yard under control. We use safe, low-grade organic mist blower treatments to target adult mosquitoes and larvicide granules to prevent new generations from emerging.
If you, like many Americans, are having trouble keeping the mosquitoes in your yard today, our professional pest control experts can help. Give us a call today and see how we can help to eliminate your mosquito problem.