Standing Water a Source of Virus Infected Mosquitoes
Did you know that standing water in your backyard increases the risk that your family will be exposed to the West Nile virus?
A birdbath, water garden, gutters or children's pool in just one backyard holds thousands of mosquito larvae waiting to hatch. Some of these mosquitoes can carry the West Nile virus.
Since most mosquitoes only fly a few hundred feet from where they hatch, mosquitoes that hatch in a yard typically stay in a yard. To protect their families, there are several things homeowners can do to reduce the mosquito population, and the risk, within their own yards.
Homeowners should remove standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Emptying water from flowerpots, birdbaths and any other sources of standing water will make it harder for mosquitoes to breed.
Sometimes, removing standing water isn't a practical solution. This is especially true during exceedingly hot summers, and in some parts of the country where decorative fishponds and kiddie pools are only able to be enjoyed for a short time each year.
Some major retailers now carry larvicide products for homeowners who want to reduce mosquitoes without impacting their backyard routine. Larvicide products prevent mosquitoes from hatching.
To further protect themselves in the yard, homeowners should wear socks, long pants and long-sleeve shirts when possible to keep mosquitoes from landing on the skin, and stay indoors during peak mosquito biting times-dusk to dawn.
If outdoor activities are necessary, applying an insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin and clothes can reduce mosquito bites. Homeowners should also protect their pets, as they are also susceptible to mosquitoes that may carry West Nile virus.
Paying attention to water in birdbaths and flowerpots can reduce West Nile virus risk.