As the June 21 solstice draws near, it brings the official start of summer. While this brings to mind bright, sunny days and the promise of poolside fun, it inevitably brings the threat of everyone’s least favorite flying foes – mosquitoes. These pesky little bugs threaten to spoil your summer fun and can even spread disease.
So, here are 4 tips to protect you from mosquitoes this season:
- Use proper mosquito repellant. EPA-registered repellents, including products that use DEET and picaridin, should be used on all exposed skin. Use concentrations of 30-50 percent of DEET and Picardin concentrations of 7-15 percent frequently.
- Dress to protect yourself from mosquitoes. Cover exposed skin the same way you would to protect from sunburn; when venturing into the forest or wilderness, wear long-sleeved shirts tucked in to long pants and a hat.
- Consider using products with oil of lemon, eucalyptus, or citronella. Derived from the lemongrass family, citronella oil is a safe, non-toxic insect repellent. It can be directly applied to the skin in diluted form or used in candles and lamps to distract mosquitoes over a large area.
- 2 isn’t always better than 1 – when it comes to repellant. Often, sunscreen needs to be reapplied more frequently than mosquito repellant, so 2-in-1 products are not always effective. Apply mosquito repellant to yourself, along with camping gear or shoes, to ward off bugs.
Never let children handle the product, and never apply repellent to pets. Be careful to not apply repellant to scraped or cut skin, and be sure to wash clothing that has been sprayed with repellants.
Get mosquitoes before they get you!
These tips will help eliminate the root cause of these pests:
- Since mosquitoes lay eggs in standing or slow-moving water, eliminate puddles around your home.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools regularly and drain water from pool covers.
- Change the water in bird baths frequently, at least twice a week, to help slow mosquito growth.
- Turn over wading pools or wheelbarrows when they are not in use to prevent rainwater collection.
- Also, make sure roof gutters drain properly.
- Keep the lawn mowed and zap weeds because mosquitoes rest in tall grass, weeds and bushes.
- Check to make sure window screens don’t have tears or holes where mosquitoes can find their way inside your home.
Following these simple steps will help put you enjoy summer to the fullest, perhaps not get eaten alive by mosquitoes.
Here’s wishing you a happy summer from the good bug – WeatherBug!