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May 5, 2014
Warm weather has a way of putting a spring in your step and a smile on your face until you hear that first telltale mosquito buzz in your ear. That’s when reality hits: for all its springtime beauty and splendor, nature delivers a fair share of pests that can put a damper on your day. But they don’t have to – armed with some knowledge and planning, you can defeat your mosquitoes, reclaim your backyard, and look forward to fun in the sun.
Mosquitoes don’t have many fans among humans. From their high-pitched whines to their itchy red bites, mosquitoes are a nuisance. But there’s another, more serious, reason to keep your mosquito population under control: disease. Mosquitoes are responsible for killing 725,000 people per year due to the deadly diseases they transmit.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey disease map, there were 23 reported cases of the West Nile Virus in In D.C., Maryland, and Virginia in 2013. Other mosquito-transmitted diseases include malaria, Dengue fever, encephalitis, and yellow fever. Mosquitoes are both potentially dangerous and itchy bothers, which makes them ideal targets for pest control.
Exercise common sense to keep from becoming a mosquito meal. Here are three ways to minimize your exposure during mosquito season: wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts whenever possible; make sure your doors and windows have wire gauze screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home; and avoid outdoor activities from dusk to dawn, which are peak biting hours.
Mosquitoes typically live for about two weeks, and three of their four stages of life occur in water. Mosquitoes begin their lives as eggs hatched in water (Stage #1). Once they hatch, they become larvae wrigglers (Stage #2), molting several times as they prepare for the pupa stage (Stage #3). A mosquito in the pupa stage does not feed but instead readies itself for adult life (Stage #4) when it emerges from the water to fly around and wreak havoc on our outdoor parties and barbecues.
Knowing the life cycle and water-dependency of mosquitoes will help you eliminate them effectively. Be proactive - take a walking tour of your yard and remove sources of standing water. No puddle or dish is too small. Since mosquitoes need water to breed, a dry environment will help keep your mosquito population under control.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, it makes sense to have a pest control expert come to your home and spray your yard. A good company will take a multi-pronged approach by first eliminating potential breeding grounds and then spraying your yard with a mosquito repellent that’s safe for humans and pets. You can opt for a one-time treatment or a monthly treatment depending on your needs.
By taking some basic precautions, you can make sure that the only bites in your summer are the bites of watermelon you take as you lounge in the great outdoors!
Did you know? According to the D.C. Department of Health, a single discarded tire can produce tens of thousands of mosquitoes over the course of a season.