As we move into summer and plans for pool parties, barbeques, and camping all spring up, you may want to consider those annoying blood-sucking critters we know as mosquitoes a little more seriously. West Nile Virus has only grown since it entered our great state in 2002.
While it isn’t much fun to spend time planning a mosquito-avoidance strategy for every summer activity you participate in this summer, we can give you a few tips that apply to any situation for thwarting these pesky parasites’ dinner plans.
First, from Dr. Mark M. Johnsen at the Brazos Valley Health Department (Bryan / College Station area), we have the four “Ds” of mosquito defense: Drain, Dusk & Dawn, Dress, and DEET.
Drain: Dr. Johnson recommends, in this month’s Brazos Valley Insite magazine, that all containers that may “hold water for more than three days” be emptied or otherwise made inaccessible to mosquitoes.
Dusk & Dawn: Dusk and dawn are the best feeding times for mosquitoes, so it is sometimes best to simply avoid being outdoors at these times.
Dress: You can protect your skin by covering it with loose-fitting long sleeves and pants in light colors.
DEET: As always, bug spray with DEET protection is often the best way to go if you are going to be outdoors and active.
However, these are not the only tips out there for repelling mosquitoes! One Kings Lane’s website offers great ideas about adding plants that repel mosquitoes to your outdoor party areas. Citronella (West Indian Lemongrass), Catnip, and Cascading Geranium are listed as potted plants that can be placed to effectively repel mosquitoes naturally. This blog article claims that a fresh dryer sheet will work in a pinch to repel pesky mosquitoes, as well as listing a few individual products preferred over the occasional dryer sheet. Wonder How To’s website adds Rosemary, Horsemint, and Marigolds to this list. They also say that garlic breath can repel mosquitoes, as well as eucalyptus oil, white clothing, and soap bubbles. I don’t know about you, but a bubble machine in the backyard sounds like a great idea for a fun outdoor party, especially if kids are involved!
West Nile virus is a scary thing, but most counties in Texas are working with traps and sprays to reduce the number of living mosquitoes that can carry the virus to protect citizens from this infection. In addition, it is important to note that West Nile Virus cannot be passed from human to human. Only mosquitoes can infect humans, so there is no chance you will pass the virus on to your family or friends.