Since the first reported case of West Nile Virus in New York City in 1999 West Nile Virus has spread across America like an epidemic, and it seems there is no easy way to eradicate the disease. So the best defense we have is education. By sharing the information we have about how mosquitoes breed and carry the disease we can do more than try and prevent from being stung, but rather prevent the mosquitoes from being born and becoming carriers of the disease at all.
West Nile Virus comes and goes in surges, but it never ever really goes away, making it particularly dangerous. As the reported cases of infection swell and contract the population is lulled into a carnal security thinking that it could never happen to them- that they would never be infected resulting in carelessness and a casual attitude toward mosquito disease.
Looking back to the year 2013, a total of 2374 cases of West Nile Virus were reported with 114 deaths attributed to the disease (down significantly from 286 deaths in 2012) and in 2014, the West Nile Virus has a strong potential to exceed the 2013 numbers due to the mild winter. Nevertheless, there is no surefire way to know what kind of mosquito season we will have this year, but one thing we can be sure of is our level of preparedness.
Transmission of the virus occurs through mosquito bites. This leads people to believe that the primary defense we have against the spreading of disease is taking action to prevent mosquitoes from biting you, your kids and your pets or animals.
Naturally people automatically think of mosquito repellent sprays as the primary defense against mosquitoes. However, they are widely varied in their cost, features and functionality.
Perhaps the greatest protection against mosquito’s bites is to wear long sleeve shirts and pants whenever possible in conjunction with a spray or repellent, because it’s not possible for the mosquitoes to bite your skin through the material of your clothing.
Just like cell phones and power companies have peak hours, so do mosquitoes! If you know when these hours are, than you can more easily avoid them and keep them from ruining your outing! Mosquitoes come out in full forces most often around dusk and dawn times of the day. Plan your day to avoid too early of a start or staying too late and you will experience less mosquito attack.
April Showers Bring May flowers…
April showers also bring standing water though, which brings forth new mosquitoes! NOW is the time to spread the word about mosquito awareness and most specifically West Nile Virus awareness.Empty any stagnant and free standing collections of water. Simply dump them out and turn the vessel upside down or prop it up so that it will not refill with water.
Other ways to prevent mosquitoes from collecting and breeding…
For homeowners and small business owners that wish to take a proactive stance against mosquitoes and other insects in general there are a couple of suitable options.
- Contracting with a local pest control business will ensure that your property is pest free on a regular basis. With regular treatments of the property on a frequent basis the mosquito (and pest) population will stay low throughout the entire season. However this type of service can be expensive and prohibitive.
- An excellent alternative that people can utilize is a fertigation/pestigation unit attached to their existing sprinkler system. These units are designed to be an all-in-one plug-and-play solution for all your fertilizing and pest control needs. It simply uses the existing sprinkler system to apply fertilizers and/or organic pesticides through the sprinkler heads to the grass and irrigated parts of the property thereby creating an effective boundary for pests. Units are available starting around $950 and can be installed quickly and easily by a certified installer or a savvy do-it-yourselfer. This may sound like an expensive investment initially, but it quite cost effective because it will continue to serve the property for years to come.
- There are some areas of your yard and/or property which are prone to gathering puddles. Tarps and tires are two of the most infamous offenders when it comes to standing water. Perhaps you have a rain collection barrel designed for capturing water or catch basins installed to carry away drainage water. These can be prime targets for mosquito breeding…especially because they are often physically obscured and hidden away from view. It is recommended that homeowners use an all natural super product to protect the areas and prevent them from becoming a breeding ground for your yard. By simply applying an appropriate measure of liquid cedar oil to the water (such as Best Yet & PCO by CedarCide) and the oil acts as a barrier by creating a thin layer on top of the standing water and repelling mosquitoes.
- Secondly the oil will dehydrating and prevents any eggs that it comes in contact with from hatching. So it can be used effectively in several situations. (this type of oil is the same kind used in the sprinkler fertigation/pestigation units.)
The following are some ways that you can use a product like Best Yet to help combat the breeding and growth of the Mosquito population.
- Eliminate standing water on your property – Turn over kiddie pools, trash cans and lids and anything else that can act as a container for rainwater. Fold and properly store all tarps in cool dry indoor area (tarps are a major offender for mosquito breeding grounds) Bring all tires indoors away from the sprinklers or rain (tires are prime mosquito breeding grounds due to their shape; they easily retain water and provide protection from sunlight and the elements. (tires imported into the US from outside have been the source of many new insects and pests being introduced to the country) Spray water collecting prone places down with the Cedar Based product to keep mosquitoes from returning to those places if they do collect water again.
- Change water catch pans for flower baskets. – Most flower pots have a water catch dish to allow excess water to exit out the bottom of the flower pot. This water should be discarded at least once a week. Treat the newly cleaned treat with cedar oil to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in the water when it does fill up.
- Bird Baths and water fountains – keep the water running regularly to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. If the water is not running, clean out the old water weekly and treat with cedar oil.
- Permanent standing water – Some water cannot be emptied or it is intended to be there (i.e. rain barrels, drains and catch basins etc. For these types of situations it is recommended that you apply a liberal amount of Cedar Oil based product to the water. Because Best Yet it is an oil based product it will float on the top of the water causing a barrier against mosquitoes. The oil will remain there till it is washed away or emptied.