Sunday, May 30, 2010

OUTDOOR PESTS: Warm, Wet Spring Sets the Stage for an Early Mosquito Season

Many regions of the country are experiencing an unusually warm and wet spring—a weather pattern that is likely to foster an earlier and more severe mosquito season, the National Pest Management Association warns.

“The heavier-than-normal precipitation that many areas of the country received this spring have left areas of standing water, which are perfect mosquito breeding grounds,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “This is cause for concern, as mosquitoes are not simply a nuisance pest but can spread dangerous diseases, notably West Nile virus, to humans.”

Symptoms of WNV infection include headache, fever, rash, muscle ache, and gastrointestinal symptoms. WNV infection can lead to encephalitis and meningitis, but as many as 80% of infected humans show no symptoms at all.

To reduce mosquitoes in your yard try these tips:

Eliminate sources of stagnant water including birdbaths, kiddie pools, swimming pool covers, barrels, and other objects that collect water.
Add a fountain or drip system to birdbaths and ponds on your property to keep water fresh.
Keep windows and doors properly screened.
Be alert when outdoors during dawn and dusk hours, when mosquito activity peaks.
Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing, open-toe shoes, and sweet-smelling perfumes or colognes when outdoors.
Wear mosquito repellant with DEET when outdoors.

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