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Mosquitoes are notorious biting pests that are well known to residents of Pennsylvania. These blood-sucking insects can easily ruin your time spent outdoors in spring, summer, and even early fall. If you are trying to enjoy time spent in your yard, it’s hard to avoid itchy mosquito bites, especially if your property is backed up to a woodline or if you live near standing bodies of water. Female mosquitoes are attracted to humans and do not discriminate. Their ability to bite exists throughout their entire adulthood, leaving you a victim of their feeding.

Are mosquitoes dangerous?

Mosquitoes carry several diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Both EEE and West Nile Virus are spread from an infected bird to a mosquito that feeds upon it. The newly infected mosquito then feeds on another bird, spreading the virus as the cycle continues. Hosts such as dogs, horses, chickens, and humans contract the virus from infected mosquitoes, but do not spread the virus. This is why they are considered “dead end hosts.”

  • West Nile Virus– First case within North America in 1999 and Pennsylvania in 2000. Most people do not feel and symptoms. Severe and rare cases cause brain inflammation or meningitis, and sometimes death.
  • Zika Virus– Common symptoms last several days to a week, including fever, rash, headache, conjunctivitis, muscle pain, and joint pain.
  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)– First identified in the 1930’s. Severe cases can result in seizures, coma, permanent brain damage, or even death.

Why are there mosquitoes in my yard?

Mosquitoes breed in still water, even as small as water gathered in a plastic soda bottle cap. This is especially troublesome from spring through fall when rainfall and warmer weather is still present. Rain water can gather around your property within tires, downspouts, bird baths, children’s play equipment, buckets, clogged gutters, and flowerpots. Even if you dump water from all of the areas listed above, a next door neighbor who isn’t as proactive can cause mosquitoes to wander into your yard. Properties that back up to rivers and creeks are especially susceptible to heavy mosquito activity.

How can I prevent mosquitoes at my house?

The best way you can prevent mosquitoes is to eliminate potential breeding points.

Eliminate standing water around the home, such as flowerpots, birdbaths, and baby pools. Mosquitoes only need about ½ inch of water to breed. Throw away or store any containers that can accumulate water. Flip them upside down when not in use. Clean gutters frequently. Debris can clog and prevent water flow, causing gutters to fill up with standing water. Screen all windows and doors, repairing even the smallest holes that could serve as entry points for pests. Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active and wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and closed-toe shoes to protect the skin.

What is DEET?

DEET is a repellent that was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 for the protection of soldiers in insect-infested areas and became approved for use by the general public in 1957. It’s primarily used in products that are applied directly to the skin or on clothing to repel mosquitoes and ticks in the form of lotions, sprays, roll-ons, and bracelets.

It’s important to know that DEET does not kill mosquitoes and ticks. DEET repels these pests that approach you by creating an invisible barrier around the areas where the product has been applied, making you undetectable to mosquitoes and ticks. Products that contain DEET display the amount of the ingredient by percentage. It’s important to note that higher percentages do not indicate a higher strength of DEET. The amount of DEET within a product dictates how long it will last once applied. For example, a product with 25% DEET will last several hours. However a product containing 4% DEET will last a much shorter length of time. When applying DEET, it’s important that you follow the instructions to remain safe. Although studies have proven that DEET is safe and effective, it isn’t always the best option for everyone. It’s important that you thoroughly research the options yourself or speak with your doctor to make an informed decision.

How does Seitz Bros. get rid of mosquitoes?

Seitz Bros. provides comprehensive disease-carrying pest control through the Mosquito and Tick Protection Plan. This prevention plan targets the areas where mosquitoes and ticks breed on your property. Treating your entire lawn is not necessary. Fill out the contact form on this page or give Seitz Bros. a call today to set up a free mosquito inspection at your home!