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What you need to know to keep safe and enjoy outdoor living

  • Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Extreme and warm weather conditions are creating a perfect storm for a bumper crop of mosquitoes and potentially dangerous West Nile this season. June 23-29 is “National Mosquito Control Awareness Week,” sponsored by the American Mosquito Control Association, designed to alert people to what they can do to protect themselves when outdoors this summer.

Whether from the unseasonably stormy start of summer and wet conditions, mosquitoes are already out in full force and several parts of the country have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV), which is carried by mosquitoes. Recently released statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that a total of 5,674 cases of WNV disease in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC in 2012.

The experts at Mosquito Squad of Central Alabama (central-alabama.mosquitosquad.com) say, “it’s inevitable that mosquitoes are going to be outside but what we can help control is how we can keep them away from our outdoor living spaces,” says Shirrell Roberts from Mosquito Squad. The experts offer five strategies for mosquito control, including:

1. TIP. Reduce standing water to eliminate mosquito threats, including those in children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys; underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls. Other hot spots include gutters, flat roofs and low lying ground under decks and porches.

2. TOSS. Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from yards. Lawn debris can create places for water to accumulate.

3. TURN. Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like children’s portable sandboxes or plastic toys.

4. REMOVE TARPS. If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment and grills aren’t taut, they’re holding water. Remember to shake out tarps immediately following a rain storm.

5. TREAT. Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body. Mosquito Squad’s eliminates up to 90 percent of the mosquitoes and ticks on a property.

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