Spring/summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Whether going to the lake, barbecuing at home, or visiting the neighborhood park, summer memories are the best. But, mosquitos can be a nuisance during any outdoor summer activity. Mosquitos spoil the fun and they can also carry potentially serious illnesses, including West Nile Virus, Chikungunya Virus and Zika Virus.
Reducing the mosquito population lowers the risk of being bitten by them, allowing you to enjoy the great outdoors. Take care to avoid mosquito bites by implementing the following:
• Use repellent spray when you are outdoors, during the day and in the evening. Look for a repellent with DEET or other EPA-registered repellent such as Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, PMD, or IR3535.
• Wear long sleeves and pants, leaving less skin exposed.
• Remove stagnant water from your property. Any amount of standing water can give mosquitoes a place to lay their eggs. Standing water may be found in stagnant swimming pools, bird baths, flower pots, trash containers, pet water containers, clogged rain gutters and other places. Place environmentally-friendly BTI mosquito briquets in standing water that cannot be drained. BTI mosquito briquets can be purchased at local home and garden stores.
• Properly maintain your landscape to help reduce the mosquito population. Mosquitoes go to cooler, humid, shady areas in your yard during the daytime to rest and escape the heat of the day. Thinning shrubs and cutting down tall grass and weeds will reduce harborage areas and the number of mosquitoes in your yard.
• Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. However, mosquitoes that carry Zika virus bite all day, every day, not just dawn and dusk, so eliminate standing water and protect yourself.
The City of Benbrook works closely with Tarrant County Public Health to monitor for mosquito-borne illnesses and implement mosquito control activities within our community. Please do your part to help reduce mosquito populations by following the above tips. By taking preventative measures, we all enjoy a long, fun-filled summer.