There are many property owners who wait until the last minute to prepare for a truly pesky pest that is becoming more and more prevalent in Northern California – the mosquito. Mosquito bites are more than just itchy. Each year, over 1,000 Americans will contract an illness from a mosquito bite, a number that is on the rise as the Zika virus begins to spread throughout North America.
By April, the time has come and gone to prevent a mosquito outbreak at your home. The actual preparation for mosquito season should begin now, before they’ve had the time to propagate. As the weather begins to get warmer, the mosquito population rises. Here in Nevada County, you’ll want to start prepping your home while temperatures are still around a 50 to 60 degree average. It won’t be long before the air takes on a familiar buzz.
Start off by mosquito proofing your home with these simple steps:
- Remove anything that’s going to collect water – That empty wheelbarrow? That’s a perfect spot for water to pool and mosquitoes to breed. Flip it, dump it, and drain it. Don’t forget about your flower pots, birdfeeders, old tires, and buckets.
- Time to clean the gutters – A good idea to do any way; cleaning the gutters can help to rid the immediate exterior of your home of standing water. Get a ladder, wait until a dry day, and remove anything that could possibly clog your drainage system.
- Fill in low-lying areas – Ditches and holes in the ground can collect moisture. Fill in any low-lying spots with dirt or gravel to avoid attracting mosquitoes.
- Repair damaged or ineffective window screens – Tiny mosquitoes can find their way into your home through miniscule tears in your screens. Replace worn screens to keep mosquitoes out!
- Install bug lights – Yellow outdoor bug lights don’t always keep them away, but they certainly make your home less attractive to mosquitoes at night.
In addition, it’s been shown that certain plants are sometimes more efficient at repelling mosquitoes than any chemical you can buy in the store. Try growing Citronella Grass, Catmint, Rosemary, Basil, Lavender, or scented Geraniums to assist in keeping those mosquitoes at bay this year.
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