Protect Your Family from the West Nile Epidemic

The air has cooled; the leaves are turning colors; and, with autumn come the annual reports of mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile virus. Mosquito control doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. There are plenty of things that homeowners can do to keep mosquitoes from breeding around their property.

Dangers of Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes aren’t just an annoyance; they can carry disease. According to the Center for Disease Control, the West Nile virus has been found in all 48 continental US states, and more than 30,000 people have contracted the disease so far this year. West Nile Disease can have serious health consequences, including permanent neurological damage. Mosquitoes are also a threat to family pets. In addition to West Nile, which can also affect dogs and cats, mosquitoes can carry heartworms.

Below are just a few ways you canprotect yourself, family and guests from the dangers of infected, and even non-infected mosquitos.

1. Eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes breed in water. Water left for just a week can produce a generation of insects. To reduce this risk, be sure to change water in wading pool, pet bowls, bird baths and other outdoor containers regularly, at least once every other day.

2. Keep drain pipes and gutters clean. Leaves and other debris in your gutter and drainage system can also lead to standing water. Make sure that water is flowing smoothly through your drain pipes and gutters.

3. Dispose of yard clutter. Not only are old tires in your yard unsightly, they can fill up with water and provide an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Look around your yard; are there other “containers” for water? Bring them inside or stow them in the garage.

4. Fill holes in stumps and trees with sand or mortar. Old trees can also be a haven for mosquitoes. The Rutgers University extension office advises to stop water accumulating in trees stumps or aging trees by filling these holes with sand or mortar.

5. Repair window screens. Keep mosquitoes from invading the inside of your home by keeping your window screens in good repair. It doesn’t take a very big hole for pests to enter your home.

Mosquito control begins at home. In fact, there are a number of steps property owners can take to reduce or eliminate the mosquito population around their property. Your property doesn’t have to been a breeding ground for mosquitoes. With a little time and effort, you can dramatically reduce the number of flying pests around your house and yard.

What measures do you take around your property to curb the mosquito population? Have these steps been successful? Share your tips with our readers by leaving a comment below.


Mercedes Potter is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her @CedesPotter to see what else she’s been blogging about.

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