Picture this: it’s a warm, sunny day in September and you’re outside with friends and family about to fire up the grill. It’s the weekend, after all, and what better way to spend it than entertaining outside. Suddenly, you have to move the gathering inside because everyone is getting bitten by mosquitoes! As residents of the Lowcountry, we’re all familiar with the headache that mosquitoes cause. But headaches and itch aren’t the only negative effect of these pests, as they also spread a variety of illnesses in our area.
Mosquitoes may be small and somewhat easy to swat, but experts agree that they are the deadliest creatures on Earth. Being the “vampires” of the insect world, mosquitoes spread diseases that kill thousands of people every year. They become more active when temperatures begin to rise, and our climate allows for a longer mosquito season than many other areas. In South Carolina, mosquitoes are at their peak in volume and risk from March through October, so it is important to be vigilant with your mosquito protection and control starting in March continuing through November.
We are in the thick of mosquito season now. It’s important to understand why mosquitoes are so dangerous, what you can do to protect yourself and your family inside and outside of your home, and how we can help.
What makes mosquitoes so dangerous?
Nobody likes getting “bitten” by mosquitoes. Note that these pests don’t actually bite – rather, they use their long snouts called proboscis to pierce the skin and suck the blood out. Their resulting “bites” are itchy and annoying and cause various levels of discomfort. However, it’s their ability to transmit diseases that makes mosquitoes so dangerous to people. These insects feed on blood, which makes the transmission of a number of diseases incredibly easy. Unlike humans – who take extreme precautions when dealing with the blood of another – mosquitoes carry disease from one person or animal to another without regulations.
Mosquitoes most commonly spread disease by picking up a virus, bacteria or fungus and transferring it to whomever it bites. Viruses are even able to reproduce during the time that they spend being carried around by a mosquito! These pests can travel several miles while carrying a deadly disease, with one species called the Salt March having been recorded traveling as many as 100 miles while carrying deadly cargo. Some examples of diseases commonly carried by mosquitoes in the United States include:
- Zika Virus
- West Nile Virus
- Yellow Fever
- Dog Heartworm
Keeping you and your family safe
The easiest way to protect yourself and your family is through avoidance. Staying inside as much as possible during peak mosquito hours is the most effective way to avoid mosquito bites. This
means minimizing your outdoor time at dawn and dusk when it’s easier for the insects to feed. However, we know that isn’t always possible (or fun!). If you do go outside during these times, use over the counter mosquito repellent that includes DEET, or for a more natural repellent look to lemon eucalyptus oil or picaridin.
How to protect the outside of your home
In addition to repellent, the following tips will help deter mosquitoes from congregating around the outside of your home:
- Remove standing water – this is where mosquitoes lay eggs. At least once a week, empty/scrub/turn over/cover/recycle any item(s) that hold water. These items could include planters, pools, flowerpot saucers, buckets, birdbaths, or trash containers.
- Fill tree holes – this will prevent them from filling with water.
- Keep your yard trimmed – mosquitoes love to hide in tall grassy areas.
- Citronella – use torches or candles to help deter mosquitoes from small areas.
- Fans – mosquitoes feed more easily in stagnant air. Adding movement helps deter the insects from hanging around to feed.
- Call the professionals at Old South Exterminators – we stop mosquitoes, and the diseases they spread, through breeding site reduction and thorough regular treatments.
How to protect the inside of your home
Unfortunately, mosquitoes don’t just stick to outdoor living. There are a number of areas inside your home that are attractive to mosquitoes to rest and breed. They rest in humid, dark places such as in showers and closets, under sinks and/or furniture or in the laundry room. Use the following tips to help deter mosquitoes from congregating and laying eggs inside your home:
- Screens – if you enjoy bringing the outdoor breeze inside, install or repair screens on all windows and exterior doors.
- Keep doors closed – this includes the garage door. Never leave exterior doors propped open.
- Air conditioning – keep it running when possible.
- Remove standing water – mosquitoes lay eggs near water both inside and outside. If you have indoor plants, make sure there isn’t standing water in their pot saucers. Also, empty any items that hold water – such as flower vases – at least once a week.
- Indoor insect spray or fogger – these over the counter products work quickly but usually need to be reapplied frequently.
- Call the professionals at Old South Exterminators – let us protect your home from mosquitoes from the outside in!
How Old South Exterminators can help
We can help you take your yard back! Our Mosquito Control Program provides our customers with peace of mind throughout the mosquito season and beyond. Our program effectively penetrates mosquito breeding areas and helps protect your yard and your family from aggravating and itchy mosquito bites.
Old South Exterminator technicians utilize a mobile backpack system that allows them to gain access to the thickest foliage and other nooks and crannies around your property where mosquitoes breed. A thin mist is applied that establishes an effective barrier to mosquito reproduction. We find the source and we penetrate it, leaving it helpless and unable to grow.