Mosquito Prevention Begins at Home; Tips to Reduce Local Populations

A mosquito biting a person

In recognition of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, June 25–July 1, Braman Termite & Pest Elimination reminds homeowners that they can take steps to reduce the mosquito population right at home.

This is important because mosquitoes spread disease, a fact that was driven home during the outbreak of the Zika virus in 2016, when over 5,000 symptomatic cases were reported in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to new data from the CDC, the number of illnesses caused by mosquito, tick, and flea bites have tripled in the United States over the last 13 years. The report says that more than 640,000 cases were reported across the country from 2004 through 2016, though officials say the actual number of illnesses is likely much higher.

During this time period, nine new germs spread by mosquitoes and ticks were either discovered or introduced into the U.S.

While large-scale efforts brought the number of Zika cases under greater control last year, the fact remains that reducing the population of mosquitoes reduces health risks from a variety of illnesses, including West Nile Virus, eastern equine encephalitis virus and more.

Jerry Lazarus, owner of Braman Termite & Pest Elimination, encourages homeowners to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites when spending time outdoors. “Your own backyard is the perfect place to start,” he said.

Lazarus offered the following tips:

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home, including flowerpots, birdbaths, children’s pools and toys, and other areas where water collects. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and only need about a half inch to breed.
  • Minimize activity outdoors between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. If outdoors, cover up with long pants and long sleeves and use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • For those who plan to regularly spend time outside after dusk, contact a professional. “At Braman, our safe, effective service, consisting of inspection for potential mosquito breeding places and treatment of mosquito resting places with a mild insecticide, will greatly reduce the incidence of mosquitoes on your property,” said Lazarus.

He concluded, “Mosquito bites are annoying at best, and in the worst cases, can cause serious illness or even death, so continued vigilance is required.”