Protect Yourself & Loved Ones from Mosquitoes & How to Treat Their Bites
A common nuisance that can quickly turn into a deadly threat, mosquitoes are a buzzkill to summer family fun outdoors.
Mosquito season for the Northeast United States begins mid-April or early May and can last until mid-to-late October. If the fall weather is unseasonably warm, it can continue until November.
Although often harmless, mosquitoes can carry multiple deadly viruses, including Zika and EEE (Eastern equine encephalitis), for which there are currently no publicly available vaccines or medicines.
Therefore, it is important to protect yourself from mosquitoes, especially in moist climates where the pests thrive.
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water as they like laying their eggs on the surface. Common examples of stagnant water around the home include untreated pools, puddles, ponds, and basins.
In fact, only female mosquitoes bite people and animals for a blood meal. Blood from other organisms is needed for female mosquitoes to produce eggs.
The odor and bacteria released from human skin via perspiration also attracts mosquitoes. Enjoying a volleyball game with the family or working in the garden can quickly become a dream scenario for any mosquito.
As a result, exposed parts of the body that retain moisture such as the feet, ankles, wrists, and hands are more susceptible to mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and evening. As the temperature drops, mosquitoes move to enclosed areas like sheds and garages for warmth.
Preventative Methods Against Mosquitoes
The most effective prevention methods against mosquitoes focus on discouraging the lawn pests from mating and reproducing. This means removing or destroying mosquitoes’ breeding habitats.
Keep objects that retain standing water such as toys, tarp covers, or buckets, dry and empty. Dump the standing water from objects and drain excess water around the home to eliminate potential places for mosquitoes to lay eggs.
Change the water in bird baths, basins, and plant trays at least once a week. Swimming pools should be regularly treated and continuously circulating. If this isn’t possible, covering the pool when not in use can help to deter the pest.
Netting around terraces, canopies, and other outdoor spaces can help to provide a protective barrier from adult mosquitoes.
Gaps in walls, doors, and windows must be sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering. Without refuge from low temperatures, the cold will kill them naturally.
Mosquitoes tend to thrive in higher temperatures — around 80 degrees Fahrenheit — but temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit can be troublesome for the pest.
Ankles and feet tend to have an odor that mosquitoes find appealing.
Using an electric fan aimed low can help to keep the lawn pests at bay. Their flimsy, papery wings can make them poor flyers, especially against a strong breeze.
Mosquitoes love bright lights. Use LED lights or yellow lights as these types of lights tend to be ignored by mosquitoes.
Organic & EPA-Approved Repellents
Appropriate use of EPA-approved or organic repellents can protect from mosquitoes. These repellents are also safe for children and expectant mothers.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends these EPA-approved and child-friendly mosquito repellents:
- PMD or Para-menthane-diol (for children ages three and over)
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (for children ages three and over)
While not EPA-approved, natural or organic mosquito repellents are an alternative for those uncomfortable with using chemicals.
The following are organic repellents that are not to be used on children under three years old or pets:
- Cinnamon oil
- Thyme oil
- Soybean oil
- Tea tree oil
Pet-owners concerned about toxic repellents can use these pet-safe natural repellents:
- Basil plant
- Catnip plant
- Lemon balm
- Geranium oil
- Soybean oil
Treating clothing with a repellent can turn garments into another protective layer against mosquitoes.
Repellent sprays with less than 1% of permethrin can protect a piece of clothing for up to six washes, but it must be applied generously.
Mosquito bites look like puffy, reddish hive-like bumps or dark bruises. In the event that you do get bit, avoid itching the affected area as this causes irritation and infection. Instead, focus on soothing the affected area.
To soothe a mosquito bite, wash the area with soap and water then apply ice. Ice calms the itching and swelling.
Make a paste using a tablespoon of baking soda and a small amount of water. Treat the affected area with this paste, let sit for 10 minutes, then wash it off.
For further treatment, over-the-counter anti-itch creams or antihistamine lotions also successfully soothe mosquito bites.
Safeguard Your Property from Mosquitoes with Catseye
Having a safe and fun summer or fall means keeping your home and outdoor living space pest-free.
Catseye Pest Control offers organic tick and mosquito treatments for outdoor spaces and yards.
Clients can expect an in-depth inspection of the property followed by a customizable treatment program and monthly maintenance services to ensure the yard and property remains pest-free.
Using organic and environmentally friendly products, this treatment plan reinforces properties against lawn pests while also being safe for children and pets.
Catseye provides organic, foolproof mosquito control solutions for any property, leaving you with peace of mind. Contact Catseye today for a free inspection.