The summer is just around the corner and this year, perhaps more than ever people are asking what they can do to help with outdoor pest control. Last year we saw the rise of a relatively new mosquito born illness, Zika.
Zika first began to widely spread in South America last year, especially Brazil. Scientists and world health leaders took notice when a surprising increase in microcephaly was noted in correlation with Zika. Zika began to be the subject of intense study, the world over. Many recommendations have been put in place for decreasing a persons risk of contracting Zika, or other outdoor pest born illnesses.
These include staying inside during peak pest hours, which include early evening and early morning. One of the best ways for mosquito control to be accomplished is through the wearing of insect repellent that contains DEET. It is important for every member of the family to wear long sleeves and long pants when outside to help prevent the mosquito from accessing an area on which to bite.
Families can help with mosquito control and with general yard pest removal by keeping standing water at a minimum. This means cleaning up anything that might trap and hold water or at a minimum emptying, scrubbing and refilling the water on a weekly basis. Families can also use citronella candles to assist with outdoor pest control. There are varying forms, from table candles to tiki torches, depending on the amount of outdoor space needing mosquito control.
Where outdoor pest removal is not practical or possible, families can also consider measures to block mosquitoes from reaching them. The most common barrier method would be mosquito netting, which can be placed over baby strollers, beds, or used when camping outdoors. Screens on house windows are another protective barrier to aid in preventing bites.
The old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and in the case of mosquitoes and other outdoor pest born illnesses this really proves true. We all can do our part to help decrease our family’s risk of mosquito born illness and to help with outdoor pest control. You can also become a neighborhood advocate, share with your neighbors what you have learned about standing water and the risks involved of not performing yard pest removal. As you take family walks around your neighborhood, make it a game to play with your children to keep on the look out for standing water that can be easily drained or reported to the city. If we all do our part, we can help mitigate what this year’s outbreak will look like.