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Backyard Blogging.

How to Avoid Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, most of Kansas is now at high risk for West Nile Virus. This means there are carrier mosquitoes in our area.

The KDHE uses three factors in their risk assessment: the temperature, mosquito surveillance data, and human cases of West Nile. Excessive heat combined with our wet spring make the perfect breeding ground.

West Nile is the most common mosquito-vectored illness in the continental United States, and one you want to take precautions from. Let’s look at some tips for preventing the spread of mosquitoes and reducing your chances of being bitten.

Attend to Your Pool and Hot Tub Water

You always want to have the appropriate levels of an EPA-registered sanitizer in your pool or spa. You don’t want your pool or your spa to operate with a sanitizer. Make certain that the water is properly balanced.

And, never allow your water to sit stagnant. This is an open invitation to mosquitoes that you have a great breeding ground.

Provide Proper Maintenance

Another way to prevent an influx of mosquitoes and fight the ongoing risk is to properly maintain your pool. Brush and vacuum it and provide proper filtration to reduce the availability of organic debris mosquito larvae need to survive.T

At least once a week and always after a rain, drain the water off your pool and hot tub covers.

Attend to Standing Water

If you have flower pots, wagons, buckets, pet dishes, birdbaths, or puddles of standing water in your backyard, get rid of it.

Your goal is to keep mosquitoes from breeding to slow the speed of the West Nile Virus.

Wait to Go Outside

Mosquitoes can bite at anytime of day, but most species are exceptionally active from dusk until dawn. Wear mosquito-resistant clothing and use DEET-containing repellents to decrease your chances for being bitten.

In addition, when you can, wear long sleeve shirts and pants when gardening or playing outside.

Final Thoughts

You can enjoy your pool and spa, but do be careful to maintain your water, pool and spa covers, and standing water in your yard.

Follow the guidelines: avoid mosquitos, wear mosquito repellent, wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits, dump standing water, and use mosquito netting when outside for long periods of time.

Above all, have a great summer!

Photo by Егор Камелев on Unsplash