The start of warmer weather brings many opportunities to spend more time outdoors. While you may be wary of ticks and mosquitoes when hiking or camping, you may often forget to keep an eye out for them in your own backyard. Even though the best way to get rid of mosquitoes and control ticks safely is through regular preventative pest control, it’s important to learn about these insects in order to protect your family from irritation and illness.
Making Your Yard Less Attractive to Pesky Insects
Mosquitoes and many other insects are attracted to standing water for breeding and laying their eggs. Be sure to dump out any buckets or planters that collect rainwater before allowing them to sit for too long. Wash out bird baths and pet bowls every morning and evening. Anything that collects water in your yard can become a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Ticks tend to become more prevalent in areas with tall grass and natural debris. Keep your grass cut short on a regular basis and clear your yard of sticks and leaves. Don’t pile wood or mulch in your yard or near your home if you’re concerned about ticks, as these will make it easier for them to thrive.
Handling Tick and Mosquito Bites Properly
While most tick and mosquito bites are harmless, it’s important to treat every insect bite with care and to watch it carefully. If you find a tick on your body, try to remove it as quickly as possible with tweezers. While some people suggest trying to suffocate it first by covering it with petroleum jelly or nail polish, this is not always effective and could give the tick more time to burrow deeper. Clean the bite with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Mosquito bites should also be cleaned thoroughly and may be treated with a topical hydrocortisone cream to prevent itching and swelling.
While diseases and complications from insect bites are relatively rare in cities and suburbs, they can still occur. Prevention and proper treatment can help keep your family safer.