Hard hitting weather presents various problems from power outages to humidity. It also creates an optimal environment for mosquitoes, which brings issues for humans and pets alike.
“Well the biggest dangers are they carry diseases, things like yellow fever and, the one you’ve most likely seen on the news recently, the Zika virus and, in the past, things like the West Nile virus,” said Sterling Schultz, chief of operations at Angel Pest Control in Seguin. “Aside from all that, they are just a nuisance when you are outside and trying to enjoy yourself.”
Mosquitos also can present problems for pets. Untreated mosquito bites can cause heartworms in dogs, Schultz said.
When it comes down to protecting one’s family and pets, Schultz recommends following the five “D’s.”
“The best way is to protect yourself is to prevent being bitten in the first place,” he said. “We have a thing that we kind of preach called the five Ds.”
The first D stands for dress, meaning people should wear long sleeves and keep their skin covered. Schultz suggested also wearing lighter colors because mosquitos tend to be attracted to darker hues.
He encourages the use of the repellent DEET.
“It’s what the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends,” Schultz said. “It’s kind of the biggest and most popular.”
The CDC also recommends Picardin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus among other things, according to its website.
Schultz said dusk and dawn are the times when the flying pests are most active.
“Drain standing water because mosquitos can and will lay eggs,” Schutlz said. “For instance, if you took the cap off a bottle of water and you dropped it out in the yard in a shady spot, a mosquito could lay up to 100 eggs in that little water bottle cap. So, drain bird baths and things like that.”
Just because a yard owner has drained all excess water doesn’t mean that the family is free from an impending mosquito bombardment. Neighbors who have neglected to drain water from spots on their property can still spawn more pests for the neighborhood, Schultz said.
Prevention is the key, but it is up to everyone, Schultz said.
“A lot of things can be done by the homeowner to keep everything drained,” he said. “Don’t let water pile up in bird baths, make sure those are emptied once a week. Also, make sure your gutters are clear. What’s important is to look at your property and say, do I have conducive conditions? Are the things around contributing not just to your property but to the neighbor’s property?”