US Homeowners Need to be Aware. As new cases of Zika continue to pop up across the United States, it’s more essential than ever to take proper precautions to avoid contact with biting mosquito populations. Mosquitoes are vector pests and can transmit other harmful diseases such as West Nile virus and Chikungunya, in addition to Zika. With warm weather rolling in, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and Gregory Pest Solutions are urging the public to take extra precautions when spending time outdoors and when getting their homes and property in shape for spring.
“Prime mosquito season is fast-approaching and it is important for people to be aware and to know how to protect themselves from these potentially dangerous insects,” said Larry Motes, VP of Operations for Gregory. “Given the health risks like Zika that are increasing in our country, it’s important to remain vigilant in mosquito prevention techniques, which include eliminating breeding grounds around the yard, understanding these pests’ behaviors, and correctly applying insect repellent.”
Mosquito Prevention Tips From the NPMA
- When spending time outdoors, apply an insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus, and reapply as directed on the label. People who are spending long amounts of time outdoors should also consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes to limit exposure to mosquitoes. The main type of mosquito that carries Zika is a daytime biter, so taking preventive measures at all times of the day is crucial.
- Anyone traveling outside of the United States should be aware of travel advisories currently in effect. Pack plenty of insect repellant and protective clothing. If a person falls ill upon returning home, seek prompt medical attention.
- Mosquitoes need only about a half an inch of water to breed, so homeowners should eliminate areas of standing water such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects.
- Even children’s toys like buckets and sandboxes can collect water and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes right in the backyard, so be sure to keep these objects water-free.
- Screen all windows and doors, and patch up even the smallest tear or hole on screens.
- If there are concerns about mosquito activity on the property, contact a licensed pest control company or the local mosquito abatement district.