Coping with Mosquitos
Mosquitoes are usually just an annoyance, buzzing around and leaving itchy welts. Sometimes they're so thick, it's intolerable to be outside. Some people are more sensitive to their bites and sometimes mosquitoes spread
diseases. The Florida Medical Entomology Lab
provides data on encephalitis and West Nile virus, including the current risk zones. They've also produced fact sheets on mosquito-borne diseases:
To avoid mosquito bites:
To help reduce the number of mosquitoes make sure there is no stagnant water on your
- Wear long sleeves and pants after dark.
- Use mosquito repellant, especially after dark. Crushed rosemary or catnip leaves rubbed on your skin may do the trick.
- Make sure all window screens are intact so mosquitoes can't get inside.
When standing water is desired:
- Turn unused containers, such as flower pots and buckets, upside down.
- Turn canoes and rowboats upside down.
- Flush pet's water dishes daily.
- Flush birdbaths and plant saucers weekly.
- Check plants that hold water, such as bromelaids, and flush those.
- Prop up pool and boat covers to prevent rain water from pooling.
- Add Bt israelensis (eg, mosquito dunks) to bird baths, ponds, rain barrels, et cetera.
- Add fish, such as Gambusia, to ponds.
- Add chlorine to pools.
- Be kind to dragonflies, there's a good reason for the moniker "mosquito hawk". A town in Maine has relied on them for over 25 years.
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