Home, Yard and Work Precautions

Summer often brings with it house guests – some of whom aren’t welcome – including mosquitoes.

In addition to always protecting yourself from bites, follow these tips to reduce your risk of exposure to mosquitoes.

Around the home

  • Check all window and door screens, and repair any holes.
  • Keep outside doors closed. Consider installing an automatic door closer if your family forgets to shut the door.
  • Use mosquito netting or screened enclosures to let your family enjoy protected outdoor living during periods of high mosquito activity.

Around the yard

Because mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing, stagnant water, it’s important to rid your yard of standing water. Look for any place where water can collect. This can be a bird bath, unattended pet watering bowl, or just a plain old bucket.

  • Do not let water stand stagnant for more than seven days.
  • Clean leaves and debris from eaves troughs regularly to prevent clogs that can trap water.
  • Use a mesh-screened lid to keep mosquitoes off the water surface of rain barrels. Wrap screening tightly around any open joints on the downspouts.
  • Avoid excessive lawn watering.
  • Regularly drain water that collects in the saucers under your flowerpots.
  • Keep lids on or cover all containers, including garbage.
  • Store garden hoses properly so that areas around them stay dry, and fix leaky faucets.
  • Stagnant ornamental pools or ponds are a mosquito haven. Aerate ponds daily and consider stocking them with fish (mosquitoes = fish food!).
  • Empty children’s wading pools when not in use.
  • Make sure your rain barrel has a screened cover.
  • Store spare tires in a dry location, where they cannot collect rain. Alternatively, cover tires. And if they’re old junkers, take them to your local tire recycling centre

Protection at work

No matter what your profession, when your job takes you outdoors, youre also at risk of West Nile virus.

To prevent bites and protect yourself from infection, make these simple daily precautions a part of your work gear routine:

  • Use an insect repellent with DEET.
  • Wear lighter-coloured long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a hat.
  • Try to stay indoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.

These steps can make it harder for mosquitoes to find you, and remember: if they can’t find you, they can’t bite you.

MyHealth Alberta