Mosquito Squad offers proactive tips against mosquitoes

June 24, 2014 at 1:24 a.m.

Mosquitoes can be a big pest this time of year.

Take part in National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, June 22 through 28, by learning ways to eliminate them from your yard.

To help educate the public about illnesses mosquitoes carry and preventative measures, Charles Boswell, Mosquito Squad of Victoria owner, encourages homeowners to take steps to eliminate possible breeding grounds.

"As vector-borne illnesses, including the new-to-U.S. Chikungunya virus and West Nile virus continue to capture headlines nationwide, concerns about mosquito control remain high," Boswell said. "By being proactive, homeowners can take control of their yards and their health, as well as help those facing the life-threatening challenge of malaria on a daily basis."

The company took data from technicians who work in mosquito control to develop a list of do-it-yourself ways to reduce mosquitos at home:• Tip - A bottle cap filled with water holds enough water for mosquitos to breed. Since mosquitos breed in standing water, eliminating the water decreases mosquito breeding grounds.

Toss - Grass clippings, leaves, firewood and piles of mulch are yard trash. By keeping a yard clean, homeowners can remove a major breeding area for both mosquitos and ticks. • Turn - Walk the yard every few days and turn over items that could hold water and trash. Look for children's portable sandboxes, slides or plastic toys, underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers, empty pots, light fixtures and dog water bowls.

• Remove tarps - Many homeowners have tarps or covers on items residing in their outdoor spaces. If not stretched taut, they are holding water. Problem items include tarps over firewood piles, portable fire places, recycling cans, boats, sports equipment and grills.

• Take care - Regularly clean out gutters and make sure the downspout is attached properly. Re-grade areas where water stands more than a few hours. Make sure to remove fallen branches, hollow trees and keep lawn and weed heights low. Ensure irrigation systems aren't leaking because they can turn into a breeding haven.

• Team up - Despite taking all precautions in your own home, talking with neighbors is a key component to mosquito and tick control.

Treat - Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body.



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