Tips and tricks for deterring mosquito, ticks and other pests this spring & summer

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Tips and tricks for deterring mosquito, ticks and other pests this spring & summer

Do you find yourself hiding inside due to mosquitoes and ticks ruining your outside fun? Are you and your family constantly swatting and slapping at pesky insects while spending time outdoors?

With spring just around the corner, here are some helpful tips and tricks to make outside fun again!

  • Use a fan in outdoor living spaces to circulate air. Mosquitoes are weak fliers and the movement of the air will keep them from reaching a host and biting.
  • Wear light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes cannot see light colors such as white and khaki. They can see dark colors like black and navy much easier.
  • Trim lawns and bushes regularly, as mosquitoes don’t like the heat and prefer cool, shady foliage.
  • Dress to avoid ticks. Wearing long sleeves and long pants, tucking socks into boots and wearing light colored clothing can help prevent ticks from biting.
  • Know where ticks live. Ticks live in tall grass and wooded areas.
  • Move wood piles away from the home and line the outskirts of your property with wood chips to ensure ticks stay away from the areas in your yard where you frequent.
  • Consider moving children’s playsets and dog pens away from wooded areas at the perimeter of your property – that’s where ticks like to hide

Looking for a natural alternative?

Some essential oils deter mosquitoes – many of which are ones you are likely to have around your home. Mosquitoes are put off by certain smells, particularly garlic, although we do not suggest you slather yourself in garlic before leaving the house!

  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender

If you’re interested in getting to the source of your mosquito problem, dumping standing water is the easiest way to eliminate it before it starts. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a bottle cap full of water. That means that unsuspecting lawn items can be the cause of a major problem. Standing water can be found in the most unlikely of places. Check the following:

  • Bird baths
  • Flower pots
  • Pool and boat covers
  • Children’s toys
  • Dog bowls
  • Inflatable pools
  • Garbage cans
  • Tire swings
  • Murky water in uncirculating ponds

Here in the Northeast, mosquitoes and ticks are more than just pesky nuisances, they can be a real health concern. The following are some diseases to be aware of:

  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV or Triple E) is a mosquito-borne disease that is spread through mosquitoes who have bitten an infected bird. That mosquito then transmits the illness to horses and humans through an additional bite. Symptoms for this illness are fever, chills, and extreme headache; symptoms usually take 10 days to appear.
  • Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Early symptoms of Lyme disease usually begin from 3 to 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick. The most common early stage symptom is a rash where the tick was attached.

This article was written by Jodi Elliott, owner of Mosquito Joe of Braintree-Weymouth.

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