I am so, so happy that it is finally summer time. The weather is warm and that means it is the optimal time for me to spend my days lounging in the sun, reading books outside, and eating meals outdoors. While there is a lot to be done outside in your yard in the summer, this year a more serious threat looms outside of closed doors and potentially in backyards across America — Zika carrying mosquitos. However there are a few ways on how to prevent Zika mosquitos from entering your yard.
How serious of a threat is Zika this summer? Turns out, it might be pretty serious. According to a study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Zika could become "increasingly prevalent across much of the southern and eastern United States as the weather warms." According to the study, cities like Miami, Florida, New Orleans, Louisiana and Charleston, South Carolina could be at the highest risk for potential Zika carrying mosquitos. Zika mosquitos like a warm, tropical, and humid environment so the weather in these cities makes it ideal for these mosquitos to thrive. If you do live in or close to any of these cities, don't fear. There are a few quick and easy things you can do from having mosquitos enter your yard.
First, check your yard for any surface or device where water can stand for too long and get rid of it immediately. This includes errant wheelbarrows, bird baths, gutters, and yes, even a baby pool that has not been drained of its water. Mosquitos breed in standing water, therefore the more standing water in your yard, the more likely they could breed there.
According to USA Today, female mosquitos only need as little as a teaspoon of water to lay eggs and will do it almost anywhere. So closely monitor your yard after a rainstorm. Dry up any water you see sitting on your lawn ornaments, drain that ornamental bird bath and even tip the accumulated water out of your watering can.
If water must be stored in your yard, the Centers for Disease Control suggests storing the water in a tightly covered container. This water business isn't a joke, folks.
You can also prevent mosquitos from biting you while lounging in your yard through powerful insect repellants. Earlier this year, Consumer Reports released a list of the most powerful and effective insect repellents that protect against Zika. The most effective repellent against Zika carrying mosquitos was Sawyer Fisher's Formula Picardin which repelled mosquitos for eight hours. Repellents made with natural plant hours did not repel mosquitos for more than one hour and are not recommended when preventing Zika.
While the fear of Zika looms this summer, do not let this stop you from spending time out in your yard and enjoying your summer. The summer is meant for long, relaxing days spent outdoors having fun and not being fearful.