It’s that time of year again where we’re beginning to see the rapid reemergence of mosquitoes. Headlines of Zika and West Nile remind us that mosquito bites can be much worse than an irritating itch. Here are three ways to cut your risk of becoming a blood meal for one of humanity’s greatest enemies.

No Standing Water

This is a critical way to help reduce the mosquito population. Regularly go through your property and dump any standing water. Really look around because it’s amazing how little water is needed for mosquitoes to lay eggs. A soda can that’s been left out, the tray your potted herbs sits upon, and just every little crack and crevice you can think of. The worst of the worst mosquitoes for humans have adapted to thrive in the mini environments we create. Check out the image below. The rainwater that collected in this cooler handle is a perfect spot for our foe.

Mosquito Repellents

Use them. This is your best defense against bites. That being said, not all repellents are created equally and in large part their effectiveness largely lies in the way you use it. Look for repellents that contain either DEET or Picaridin. With West Nile and other mosquito-borne diseases on the rise you’re not doing you or your family any favors by not fighting them with the most effective tools available. Make no mistake, while we have had less disease here in the US from mosquitoes they are the deadliest living thing on Earth. Use mosquito repellents and make sure to apply, and reapply, as directed.


It’s The Little Things

There’s not a lot of evidence to support citronella candles working all that well against mosquitoes. That said, you can find citronella torches and oil that features mosquito repellent that many people swear by. Mosquitos are attracted to darker colors. Wear lighter colored clothes as a way to cut down on bites. Additionally, mosquitoes are much more active during dawn, dusk and in the evening hours. Limit the time you spend outdoors when mosquitoes are most active. Additionally, avoid flowery fragrances because mosquitoes don’t just love your blood, they also love pollen.

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