Living Outdoors: Tackle those Pesky Mosquitos

Unfortunately it is getting to be that time of year! Fortunately we do not have Zika Virus in Bermuda, so they are an uncomfortable nuisance rather than a health hazard. Here are a few ideas to keep them at bay.

Get rid of standing water: Make sure there’s no standing water anywhere from toys left out on the lawn, plates under your flowerpots, even something as small as a bottle cap can become a breeding ground. However, they can’t fly very far, so if you can eliminate breeding spots on your property, you can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes near your house. One watery area you don’t have to worry about, though, is your swimming pool — as long as it’s chlorinated and the filter is working, mosquitoes will buzz right on by.

Hire a professional to inspect the area: If the problem is extremely bad call Vector Control, who will come out an inspect your property, and properties within a certain radius. An exterminator can find and inspect areas that you wouldn’t necessarily think of.

Make natural repellents part of your landscape: Some plants actually produce defensive chemicals, however these repellents aren’t usually released unless the plant is actually cut or broken. So if you fill your yard with species like citronella, rosemary, lavender, catnip and marigolds, make sure to pick some and chop them up, then place around your entertaining area.

Apply repellent, then do it again: A lotion or spray of your choice (preferably environmentally friendly), or oil of lemon, lavender, tea tree or eucalyptus is your best bet for keeping mosquitoes away. Reapply after a few hours and put it on children too.

Cover your feet: Mosquitoes love sweat and bacteria, making your toes a prime blood-sucking spot.

Dress for even more success: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes that hide your arms and legs. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, embrace those summer whites and pastels.

Eat indoors when possible: Most mosquitoes bite in the evening, however if travelling the type that carries the Zika Virus tends to bite during the day.

If you are entertaining outside, spray the day before: If you’re hosting an outdoor soiree, try a backyard pretreat, at least 24 hours in advance.

Mosquito net the patio: If you’re having a small get together, it may be easiest to net or screen the area where guests will be eating. This will eliminate any concerns of food accidentally being sprayed with repellents and keep out other unwanted guests like flies and bugs.

Enjoy the summer!

If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at hchilvers@brcl.bm or 332-1793. All questions will be treated confidentially.

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