Make sure your yard is mosquito-safe during Mosquito Awareness Week

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Fourth of July is just around the corner, but itchy mosquito bites may already be a problem in your neighborhood. In honor of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, the American Mosquito Control Association has tips to help you declare independence from those pesky blood-suckers.

Mosquito Joe of Northwest DFW is donating a portion of its new customer sales to Nothing But Nets, a global grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funds to fight malaria. The local company has partnered with Nothing But Nets for the last couple of years and appeared on Good Morning Texas last year’s Mosquito Awareness Week and is addressing the issue on FOX4 this year.

Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water and dark clothing, according to a news release from AMCA, which recommends people follow the three Ds to keep mosquitoes away:

  • Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week
  • Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR 3535 or oil of lemon-eucalyptus

Make your yard a mosquito-free zone by: disposing of any tires — tires can breed thousands of mosquitoes; drilling holes in the bottom of recycling containers; clearing roof gutters of debris; cleaning pet water dishes regularly; checking and emptying children’s toys; repairing leaky outdoor faucets; and changing the water in bird baths at least once a week.

“Encouraging your neighbors to also eliminate sources on their own property is critical to a community-wide control program,” said Joseph Conlon, AMCA Technical Advisor. “Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. If their water source is eliminated, so are their offspring.”

Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. Their bites can spread diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus.

“We already have the mosquitoes. We are continually importing the diseases they carry,” Conlon said. “We must be prepared to prevent their spread throughout our public health landscape – and this requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control and awareness in the community.”

AMCA stresses mosquito-borne diseases do not only affect humans – they also kill countless birds, reptiles, animals and endangered species each year. Awareness of these parasites – including canine heartworm, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Western Equine Encephalitis – is another important component of mosquito control the general public must embrace.

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Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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