There are a number of precautions that people can take to protect their home and family from mosquitoes. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips:
- Eliminate or reduce mosquito-breeding sites around the home. This includes birdbaths, flowerpots, grill covers, baby pools, unopened swimming pools, tires and other objects where water collects.
- Remove unneeded vegetation or trash from around any source of standing water that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.
- Screen windows, doors, and other openings with fine mesh, sealing around all screen edges and keeping doors and windows shut to prevent entry.
- Use mesh that is 18X18 strands per inch, or finer.
- Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. But, also take proactive measures during the day to protect against daytime biters, like the Asian tiger mosquito the main carrier of Zika.
- When outdoors, wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes.
- Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus on exposed skin whenever outdoors.
Concerned homeowners should consider contacting a pest control professional who can help reduce exposure to mosquitoes and decrease the risks for mosquito-borne illnesses by inspecting properties for mosquito breeding sites and treating the area to control mosquitoes.