Is your yard a mosquito magnet? Do mosquitoes seem to swarm toward you while avoiding other people? Experts have been trying for years to crack the code behind why mosquitoes like some people more than others. While the scientists continue their research to keep you from being the victim of these annoying blood suckers, there are some things that you can do to prevent mosquitoes from finding haven in your yard.
If mosquitoes find you extra tasty there are some suggestions to prevent bites and potential illness.
- Clean your yard! Mosquitoes breed in moist environments specifically standing water. Clean up your yard from piles of debris like wet leaves or containers that can hold rainwater like pet dishes, pots for plants, buckets, toys, etc. Adults of some species of mosquitoes tend to stay near breeding grounds so eliminating the water can cut down drastically on the mosquito population.
- Check your gutters! Clogged rain gutters are one of the most overlooked breeding sites for mosquitoes around homes. Remove any standing water on flat roofs or around structures. Repair leaking faucets and air conditioners that produce puddles for several days.
- Avoid outdoor activity during peak mosquito times. Dusk and dawn are when most mosquitoes are more active, but some will be around during the day.
- Protect yourself. Apply insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors. Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. Permethrin sprayed on clothing provides protection through several washes. Don’t spray repellent on skin under clothing and don’t use permethrin on skin. The chemical DEET is a prime ingredient that you should look for in insect repellant as well.
- Make a good clothing choice. Wear light colored and loose fitting clothing. One way mosquitoes select prey is by homing in on the heat produced by warm-blooded bodies. Dark-colored clothing traps heat, making the wearer the warmest prey for the mosquito. Mosquitoes also have photosensitive eyes that can detect bright colors. And, looser clothing makes it more difficult for the mosquito to penetrate the skin.(Source: Mosquito World)
- Go Professional. Talk to your landscaper to see if they suggest a professional application of insect repellant for your yard.