Our experts provide information on mosquitoes and ways to help further prevent the chances of getting bitten. Below are some answers to our most frequently asked questions:
- Besides controlling standing water, what are other tips to help avoid mosquitoes in your yard?
Eliminating standing water is very important in reducing mosquito populations. Other things that can help include:
- Make sure gutters are free of debris and working properly.
- Trim bushes and trees, keep grass cut, and eliminate excessive amounts of pine straw and leaf litter on the ground.
- Eliminate clutter from around the house and in the yard.
- Make sure ornamental fish ponds are properly aerated and stocked with mosquito eating fish.
- Be on the lookout for potential breeding sites in your neighborhood. If you see breeding sites that should be addressed on your neighbor’s property, try and educate them on the importance of eliminating them or having them treated.
- Is there a good time to go outside in an effort to avoid mosquitoes during the summer months?
Most mosquito species are active during the early morning and late evening hours (dusk and dawn). During the heat of the day they will rest in low-lying shady areas such as under leaves on bushes and under decks. However, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which is very common in the southeastern states and can carry the Zika virus, stays active throughout the day. So unfortunately you are at risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes no matter what time of day you are outdoors during the summer months.
- Are there ways to attract mosquitoes?
We know that mosquitoes are attracted to things like the bacteria that live on your skin and creates body odor, especially after sweating. Also, some chemical compounds such as lactic acid, ammonia, and carboxylic acid which are present in humans are attractive to mosquitoes. They are especially attracted to carbon dioxide. The more you emit, the more attractive you are to them. Mosquitoes are also drawn to movement and heat.
- Do mosquitoes bite a certain type of person more than another?
Some people have certain microbes present that are particularly attractive to mosquitoes, which is why some people get bitten more than others. Larger people naturally emit more carbon dioxide than smaller people, which is one of the reasons adults seem to be bitten more often than children.
- What are the most effective mosquito repellants?
Based on extensive studies, scientists say the most effective repellents are those that contain DEET. These products are safe to use on both adults and children. Some people may have sensitivity to DEET, so products that contain picaridin are an effective alternative. Be sure to follow all label instructions for proper application.