Pointers for Mosquito Prevention and Protection

With the most recent news of the Zika virus making its way to the U.S., many people are looking for the best ways to protect themselves from mosquitoes. Though chances of being bitten by an infected mosquito are quite small, it’s always wise to take precautions whether you’re at home or out and about.

There is no sure-fire way to completely prevent infections like Zika, West Nile, dengue or chikungunya, but you can limit your exposure to mosquitoes with a few simple preventative measures.

What You Need To Know

  • The Asian Tiger Mosquito is the most common mosquito found in Tennessee and capable of spreading a number of diseases.
  • Daytime is most dangerous. Mosquitoes that can spread diseases are aggressive biters when the sun is out, but they can also bite at night.
  • Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Since Middle Tennessee has had a lot of rainfall this summer, many areas are at risk for attracting females laying eggs

Protect Yourself and Your Family

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, PICARIDIN, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or paramenthane-diol (PMD).
    • Brand names include: Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, Ultrathon, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus and Expedition, Repel and SkinSmart.*
  • Buy outdoor clothes and gear with permethrin or treat your items yourself. Do not use permethrin directly on your skin.
  • Follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
    • Do not use OLE or PMD on children under 3 years of age. Infants under two should not use insect repellent. Instead, dress babies in clothing that covers arms and legs and cover play yards, strollers and carriers in mosquito netting.

Protect Your Home

  • Check for containers around your yard that may hold water. Every week, empty and clean items like birdbaths, buckets, planters and trash bins.
  • If you have a decorative pool or pond, make sure it’s adequately treated with larvicide, such as Mosquito Dunks.
  • During the warm months, be sure to use your air conditioner. The circulating air makes it difficult for mosquitoes to locate warm-blooded bodies. When spending time outdoors on the patio or deck, use an oscillating fan. The breeze will help keep mosquitoes at bay.
  • Doors and windows with screens will prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. If you have doors and windows with damaged or missing screens, keep them closed as much as possible.
  • Last but not least, call us. We can treat the areas of your property that may be prone to mosquitoes.

*Commercial names for informational purposes only.
[Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Tennessee Department of Health]