Have you been looking for one location that has all of the information you need to protect your kids from mosquitoes? We hope you've found it. Here's what you need to know most.
The Mosquito Problem
It is easy to become apathetic and let our guard down when hundreds of mosquito bites do not seem to result in sickness. But all it takes for sickness to spread to the mosquitoes in our yards is for one infected animal or one infected human to come near our properties and be bitten by a mosquito. It is important to keep watch for news of viral outbreaks in your area to minimize risk for your kids.
Often, mosquito-borne viruses are mistaken for the flu or the common cold. When kids get sick, it is important to see if there is a link between the sickness and exposure to mosquitoes. Mosquito-borne viruses can be dangerous.
Mosquitoes are linked to the deaths of more than a million people worldwide each year. In the United States, the number of deaths is below one hundred. But it is important to understand that there is still a risk. Malaria is the top killer in the world but in the United States, West Nile virus claims the most lives annually.
Recently, we have seen outbreaks of Zika virus in the United States. This virus can produce microcephaly in unborn children at all stages of pregnancy.
Mosquito-borne viruses are a real threat that every parent should take seriously.
Repellant is still the number-one way to prevent bites. If you don't want your kids applying repellent to their skin, consider having them spray it on their clothing, or choose a natural repellent with oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Mosquitoes use silhouettes to find their targets. When your kids wear bright clothing, it makes it harder for mosquitoes to lock on.
Morning and evening are when mosquitoes are most active. Your kids can avoid bites by staying in during times of high activity.
Inspecting and repairing window and door screens is key to keeping mosquitoes out of your home if you like opening the windows and letting the fresh air in.
Kids are prone to leaving doors open when they go in and out but an open door is sure to let mosquitoes inside. Consider installing a mechanism to automatically close doors that often get left open.
You've probably noticed that a good breeze can keep mosquitoes away. If there is no natural breeze, consider using fans in outside areas to create a breeze.
If you have a bug zapper, consider getting rid of it. Studies have shown that zappers are an attractant for mosquitoes but are only effective at killing male, non-biting, mosquitoes. Apparently, female mosquitoes are too busy looking for a blood meal to be distracted by a zapper.
Reduce mosquito breeding sites in your yard to reduce mosquitoes. Drill a hole in tire swings to allow the rainwater to drain out. Remove lawn clutter that captures rainwater, such as discarded toys. Make sure gutters are clear of obstructions and working to channel rainwater away from your foundation perimeter. Fix any leaky spigots or hoses. It takes 48 hours for mosquito eggs to hatch, so emptying rainwater reservoirs in your yard after it rains can have an impact on mosquito production.
If you would prefer not to worry about doing all of the above to prevent mosquito bites, consider investing in a mosquito control program. Mosquito control can significantly reduce mosquitoes in your yard and make your mosquito prevention efforts easier.
Your pest management professional (PMP) will inspect your property and address breeding sites, applying larvicide to still water reservoirs that can't be removed. This will work to resist the growth of mosquito populations. Since mosquitoes don't usually travel more than a few hundred yards in their lifetime, the fewer mosquitoes hatching in your yard, the better.
A routine mist application will be applied to strategic locations where mosquitoes hide. This leaves a knockdown agent that will eliminate mosquitoes with little or no impact on wildlife, but especially children and pets.
For even greater control, your PMP can install an automatic mosquito misting system that routinely applies a mist to strategic locations.
For more information about mosquito control in Missouri, contact us today.
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