Expert Tips for Keeping Mosquitos Away This Summer

Summers are already long and hot, but they don't have to be itchy.

Anyone who lives in an area with mosquitos knows the little pests can turn any time outside into an absolute itch-fest. While most of the time their buzz and bite are mainly annoying, mosquitoes may also carry diseases like the West Nile Virus and Zika that make them potentially much more harmful.

The good news? While mosquitoes can be hard to control, there are proven steps you can take to keep them away from you and your summer gatherings. Here are three methods recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (also known as The Three D’s) to stay as close to mosquito-free as possible.

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Drain Water Containers

If you’re looking to avoid the buzz of mosquitoes in your ear all summer, make sure they don’t have a place to reproduce. Mosquitoes can breed in just about any pool of stagnant water, including ponds, clogged rain gutters and the little puddle on the top of your pool cover. So routinely check that any open water containers around your home are drained regularly.

“Encouraging your neighbors to also eliminate sources on their own property is critical to a community-wide control program,” said Joseph Conlon, technical advisor for the AMCA.  “Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. If their water source is eliminated, so are their offspring.”

Dress Loose and Long

Mosquitos can’t bite you if they can’t get to your skin. If you’re being bitten a lot, consider throwing on a long-sleeve shirt and pants. That may not square with most people’s typical summer attire, but loose, long clothing can make summertime gatherings much more palatable, especially in the evenings.

Defend Yourself With Repellent

The last of the Three D’s may be the first line of defense most people think of: Insect repellent. There are a variety on the market, most at least somewhat effective at warding off any potential biting bugs. The AMCA specifically recommends DEET, picaridin, IR 3535 or oil of lemon-eucalyptus as repellents.

Looking for more high-tech options for driving mosquitoes out of your yard? Check out these smart devices that ward off bugs.