Posted: 12:00 a.m. Friday, May 23, 2014

5 ways to stop mosquitoes from attacking you this Memorial Day


5 ways to stop mosquitoes from attacking you this Memorial Day photo
The culex mosquito has been known to carry the West Nile virus. Photo courtesy of the Ohio Department of Health
5 ways to stop mosquitoes from attacking you this Memorial Day photo
Tom Hut, Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County Bureau of Special Services supervisor, shows one of the agency’s mosquito traps. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

By Amelia Robinson

Staff Writer

The last thing anyone wants on Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the summer season, is unwanted, blood thirsty guests.

And no, vampires haven’t suddenly become patriotic.

Tom Hut of Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County says a proactive approach can help prevent hungry mosquitoes from ruining the fun this Monday, May 26, and all summer long.

“You want to eliminate their breeding site, which means anything that collects water. Your gutters and downspouts. Anything on your property like old tires, cans and buckets.”Hut said. “Repair leaky pipes and faucet that might pond water around your foundation and keep every draining areas free flowing.”

It is not just a mosquito’s bite that people should fear.

As Hut explains, those pesky flying beasts are notorious carriers of West Nile Virus, La Crosse encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis and a host of other diseases potentially harmful to humans.

“They are a public health risk,” he said. “You do want to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.”

Watch video for more information.

When to call in professional help from a pest control company is a personal choice,” Hut said.

Some people don’t want to see the first mosquitoes in their yard and others have a higher tolerance,” he said.

Here are four other things you can do to protect yourself from mosquitoes.

Cut back the places they lurk

Hut urges people to keep lawn and shrubbery trimmed.

“That’s a place mosquitoes like to harbor when they do hatch and become adults,” Hut said. “They will hide in those vegatative areas in your yard.”

Avoid them during their active times

He said mosquitoes stay in shrubs, trees, weedy areas and other vegetation before becoming more active at sunsets.

“That’s when mosquitoes are more likely to annoy you, during those dusk and dawn times,” he said.

Find their ‘garlic’

Hut encourages people to use mosquito repellents containing DEET, an oil used to repel certain insects.

“People need to read the label and use the weakest formulation that is effective,” he said. “You want to be particularly cautious when using that on small children.”

He said some also have success with products in AVON’s Skin So Soft line and Citronella candles.

“It is a personal preference on what people like to use,” he said.

Choice you clothing wisely

Hut said people can also reduce the likelihood they will be bitten by reducing sweat when mosquitoes are active and carefully selecting the outfit they wear.

“Avoiding physical exertion and wearing light colored clothing and long sleeves and long slacks will minimize your exposure to mosquitoes,” he said.

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