TAMU link for more information, Mosquito Management & Control
If you've been in Texas for any period of time, you probably have experienced mosquitoes and their lingering bites. They are known for their innate ability to spoil outdoor picnics, athletic events, camping trips and vacations. Mosquitoes are not only menacing, but their bites can cause severe skin irritation. They may also transmit certain serious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and several forms of encephalitis.
Mosquitoes have a battery of sensors designed to track their prey. They are attracted by several things, including heat, light, perspiration, body odor, lactic acid and carbon dioxide. This explains why mosquitoes are so good at finding and biting you.
So how can you protect yourself?
- Wear clothing that covers most of your body, if temperatures permit.
- Use a mosquito repellant that contains DEET at a concentration of at least 7.5 percent.
Are they ways to reduce the mosquito population?
Yes, mosquitoes need water to breed. So elimination of all sources of standing water in your yard will reduce the mosquito population. This includes empty water cans, old tires, etc. Other ways include:
- If you have a pond in your backyard or garden, stock it with some fish to eat the mosquito larvae.
- Make sure all window screens are intact to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- Keep swimming pools treated and circulating and rain gutters unclogged.
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week.
For more information on ways to combat menacing mosquitoes, visit the Tarrant County Public Health's web site.