MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.- April showers bring May flowers—and swarming mosquitoes. There are over 170 species of mosquitoes in North America, many of them carrying deadly diseases. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) is urging the public to be aware of the harm that mosquitoes can cause and is offering tips for practicing safe mosquito control this spring.
“A mosquito needs as little as a teaspoon of standing water to lay its eggs,” said AMCA Technical Advisor Joe Conlon. “Places like rain gutters, old outdoor buckets, tree holes and empty flower pots make excellent spots for breeding. Therefore, it’s extremely important to eliminate these sources to help reduce the mosquito population around your home and your neighborhood.”
To help prepare for mosquito season, AMCA reminds the public to practice the three D’s—Drain, Dress and Defend:
· Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week
· Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
· Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent such as picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus
Worldwide, mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever, continue infecting and killing millions every year. In the United States, mosquitoes spread several types of encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, in addition to transmitting heartworm to common household pets.
“Mosquitoes, and the diseases they carry are already here,” added Conlon. “While we cannot make them completely disappear, we must be prepared to prevent their spread throughout our public health landscape. This requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control and awareness in the community.”
AMCA offers these tips for making any backyard a mosquito-free zone:
· Dispose of old tires -- tires can breed thousands of mosquitoes
· Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers to avoid water collection
· Clear roof gutters of debris
· Clean pet water dishes regularly
· Check outdoor toys and empty collected rain water children’s toys
· Repair leaky outdoor faucets
· Change the water in bird baths at least once a week.
About the American Mosquito Control Association
Celebrating 78 years of protecting public health in 2013, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) is an international not-for-profit public service association. With over 1,600 members worldwide, AMCA membership extends to more than 50 countries, and includes individuals and public agencies engaged in mosquito control, mosquito research and related activities. Please visit AMCA online at www.mosquito.org and follow AMCA on Twitter @AMCAupdates.