The Zika virus has already affected more than 1 million people in Central and South America, and now there’s cause for concern about the deadly disease coming to the U.S. While outbreaks in this country are likely to be limited, according to officials, there is no vaccine to prevent the spread of Zika and it’s best to take precautions. The most effective way to prevent the spread of the Zika virus is to control the mosquito population and protect yourself from bites. Follow these five tips at home to reduce the number of pesky mosquitoes in your backyard and stay safe.
Eliminate standing water outside
The empty flower pots or plastic containers outside might seem harmless enough, but any object that collects water causes the mosquito population to grow. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water and so are attracted to any standing water they can find. Take a quick check in your backyard and remove any empty containers that could encourage mosquito breeding.
Use a mosquito-control product to kill larvae
Products that contain BTI like Mosquito Dunks, which can be found at your local Homestead Gardens, are very effective at killing mosquito larvae and controlling the insect population. Even better, while the bacterium is deadly to mosquito larvae, it’s completely harmless to you, your pets and the pollinators you’re trying to attract to your garden.
Stay indoors during peak mosquito hours
Mosquitoes tend to be most active during the hours around dusk and dawn. If it’s possible, try to stay indoors during those hours to reduce your chance of getting bit by a mosquito.
Repel adult mosquitoes with lemon eucalyptus oil
When you are outdoors, apply lemon eucalyptus oil on your skin to repel mosquitoes naturally. There are many easy-to-use eucalyptus oil sprays that are DEET-free and last up to six hours available on the market today.
Wear protective clothing when possible
Another good way to prevent mosquito bites when you are outdoors is to wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants. When the temperature is starting to cool down at night, slip on a sweatshirt to reduce skin exposure.
Mosquitoes are not simply annoying; they can also be deadly. Follow these five tips to reduce the mosquito population in your backyard and remain safe.