DALLAS, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Reports of the West Nile Virus (WNV) in 17 California counties and confirmation of the state's first human case this year are leading many residents to question whether or not they are doing all they can to protect themselves and their families from potentially harmful mosquitoes. The recent warm winter and early spring have exacerbated this year's mosquito activity. Local entomologists are expanding upon tips for residents to help manage mosquitoes in their yard.
"While checking for and removing standing water around your home, remember to check the less obvious places like tree holes, gutters, play houses, boat covers, watering cans and pet dishes," suggests Staci Lackey, service manager for HomeTeam Pest Defense in Riverside. "Anywhere stagnant water lies, even the smallest amount, is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Eliminating these sources will make a difference in your yard."
Trapped water can be a mosquito nursery—birdbaths, drainage pipes, tires, toys and flower pots are just a few other examples. Residents should check for and empty standing water frequently, and keep any containers upside down while not in use.
According to a recent survey by HomeTeam Pest Defense, nearly one third of residents in Western states experienced a problem with mosquitoes in 2011, and the warm winter gave them an earlier start this spring.
"Although you can't control what your neighbors are doing to control mosquitoes, you can manage the infestations in your own backyard," continued Lackey. "We are seeing more individual homeowners seek professional help to control mosquitoes."
If home remedies don't seem to work, some pest control companies provide options to help control mosquitoes in your yard. HomeTeam Pest Defense recommends a spring through early fall treatment plan to help manage mosquitoes by directly treating breeding sites and shady areas where mosquitoes rest during the day. This treatment method stops larvae growth and kills adult mosquitoes that come into contact with the treatment.
In addition to controlling mosquito breeding grounds, experts suggest avoiding outdoor activity during dusk and dawn. "Mosquitoes are most active during the early morning and late evening—and during the summer these are also the times of day that are the most pleasant temperature wise," says Lackey.
Covering your skin with loose-fitting long sleeve shirts and pants, and wearing insect repellent containing DEET, the most common active ingredient in insect repellents, are also significant protective measures.
Officials and HomeTeam experts also recommend repairing cracks or tears in screen doors or windows, and sealing cracks and small openings around doors, windows, garage and utility entry points.
Although most people will suffer no serious effects from the bite of a mosquito carrying the virus, some bites can cause severe illness, especially in people over 50.
Kern County officials reported the first case of WNV in a human being on June 18, 2012. There have been reports of WNV in 17 California counties: Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Merced, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare, Ventura, and Yolo.
About HomeTeam Pest Defense
HomeTeam Pest Defense, a recognized leader in the pest management industry, is the nation's third largest residential pest control company. The company offers pest and termite control services using traditional treatment methods and advanced products, such as the innovative Taexx® built-in pest control system. The company has 50 branch locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Mid-Central, Southwest and Western states. In February 2012, HomeTeam conducted a nationwide survey of homeowners to uncover the current trends and beliefs related to pests and pest control. The survey consisted of 1319 homeowners over the age of 18 across the U.S. HomeTeam is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Rollins, Inc. (NYSE: ROL). You can learn more about Rollins or HomeTeam at www.rollins.com or www.pestdefense.com.
Additional sources: The California Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCE HomeTeam Pest Defense