Mosquito Season is Here
It's the price we pay for having warm weather in Maine, dealing with mosquitoes and black flies. They're pretty bad at our house already, which means we're interested in how best to cut down on the number and how to protect ourselves. Here are a few suggestions!
Pest Management Specialist from the University of Maine's Cooperative Extension, Jim Dill says standing water is a big issue if you're looking to cut down on mosquitoes. See, mosquitoes breed in standing water. So you want to eliminate as much of it around your house as possible.
And that's not just ponds and puddles. Dill suggests making the rounds of your yard once a week, cleaning out bird baths, dumping any water buckets and kiddie pools. Anywhere you see standing water, get rid of it at least once a week. That should help keep the population down around your property. Of course, you can't get rid of them completely because, hey, this is Maine!
Dill says there are a few things you can do to cut down on the number of bites you get when you're outside. Limit the amount of time you spend outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Wear long sleeves and long pants as much as possible, especially if you're going to be out for a long time.
And deterrants are a must in Maine. Dill says anything with DEET is your best bet, and he says you can limit yourself to a product that contains 30% DEET. More than that is not going to be any more effective. Another good product is anything containing Picaridin.
While the cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus are rare, Dill says it's best to limit your exposure to mosquito bites as much as possible. I guess we'll be wearing DEET and keeping a fire going when we're outside a dusk this summer!