NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Early May is when mosquitoes become most active, especially after April showers. It’s time to look around your yard because mosquito control starts at home. Limiting the areas where mosquitoes can live around your home or place of business is an important way of reducing their populations. Ways to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease include:
Remove any containers that can hold water, even if it’s a small amount (1/8 inch).
Check tarps, buckets, saucers under flower pots, kid’s toys, trash cans, wheel barrels, kayaks/canoes, boats, pools, pipes, cans, under decks, etc. for standing water and eliminate the potential for these items to hold water;
Store out of service or unmounted tires under cover so as to prevent the collection of any water;
Keep gutters clean and in good repair;
Repair leaky outdoor faucets;
Change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least once a week;
When possible, drain any standing water on your property such as puddles and ditches that hold water for more than a few days after rain or try planting native species in those low spots that can help soak up the water.
Make sure rain barrels have tight-fitting screens or lids;
To protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites:
Reduce time spent outdoors, particularly in early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are most active;
Use screened windows and doors and make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn;
Wear light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts; and
Apply mosquito repellent containing an approved EPA active ingredient such as DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, Picaridin, or IR3535 to exposed skin areas following the label directions.