It's turning out to be quite the banner year for mosquitoes in New England. Our region of the country has seen a major uptick in the breeding of mosquitoes, possibly caused by wetter than average weather, high humidity, and a heat wave already in the books.All of these factors have led to this year being one that you will want to take extra precautions against mosquitoes whenever you head outdoors.In the past few weeks and months we have spent extra time on our blog discussing the mosquito forecast for this year, where high risk areas exist, and when mosquito season is. Today, we want to take a deeper dive into ways that you can protect your family beyond just applying insect repellent based on the current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent.
One of the easiest ways that homeowners can prevent the explosion of mosquito population around their home may be as simple as removing standing water from all around the property.Places around your home that you should check from pudding or standing water include: rain barrels, clogged gutters, plant containers, pet bowls, toys that remain outside, and low lying areas of your yard.We suggest regular cleanings of your gutters, placing pet water bowls indoors, cleaning and washing all outdoor toys, and inspecting areas of your home that could be harboring standing water where mosquitoes love to breed.
Screens are the last line of defense between your living spaces and flying insects that could find their way in through a gap or tear in the screen. Make it a habit to inspect your screens every spring and repair even small holes that could provide entry.Along with screen maintenance, take care to install door sweeps, and keep those doors closed so mosquitoes (who are attracted to the light) can not find a way inside.
Mosquitoes don't do well in the wind, as they have no ability to stay on your skin and bite if they can't hang on. Create that type of windy environment in your outside entertaining areas. We aren't suggesting firing up a wind turbine to keep the mosquitoes from landing, but a fan or two could help quite a bit.Insect repellent is also another major deterrent. According to Harvard Medical School's Harvard Health Publishing report, The most effective chemical repellent is DEET. Mosquitoes don't like how it smells, so they stay away from it. The higher the percentage of DEET in the repellent, the longer the protection: 10% protects for a couple of hours, 20% about twice that.
The lesson when dressing to combat mosquitoes is that these nuisance pests need access to your skin in order to bite. The more of your skin that is covered the less chance you will be bitten.Unfortunately, the summer months are not optimal for wearing heavy clothing that covers you from head to toe. Instead try to find lightweight outfits and breathable fabric that cover your legs and arms, that can allow for air flow, but not buzzing mosquitoes.