Mosquitoes in Hot Weather: The Threat You Need to Know About

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If you’ve never been bitten by a mosquito, you’re probably one of the lucky ones.

This is especially true amid this summer’s heat wave in many parts of the country.

Mosquito bites are usually itchy and irritating, but they can make the situation worse.

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Mosquitoes can spread pathogens or germs through their bites, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes on its website.

Someone who is bitten by a mosquito and becomes ill may have a mosquito-borne disease, such as West Nile virus, dengue, or malaria. (Some mosquitoes bite but don’t spread germs.)

“Recent high temperatures and standing water create an ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed,” said a medical professional.
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“Longer days and summer weather bring more people outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and dusk,” noted Marshall Lipps, environmental health specialist at Boulder County Public Health ( BCPH), as reported by Fox 31.

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“Recent high temperatures and standing water create an ideal environment for mosquito breeding,” he also said.

West Nile virus has been detected in mosquito traps in towns in Boulder County, according to Boulder County Public Health, as also reported by Fox 31 in Denver.

According to BCPH, mosquito traps in the unincorporated counties of Boulder, Longmont, Erie and Superior have tested positive for West Nile virus.

Be sure to drain any standing water outside your home.

The same health agency shared the four D’s tips for mosquito bite prevention this summer.

1. Defend: Use DEET-enriched insect repellent or alternatives to keep mosquitoes away.

2. Dress up: Dress in long sleeves and pants (as warm as that gets!).

Most people do not develop illness, or have only mild illness, from West Nile virus – although some rare and severe cases can be fatal.

Most people do not develop illness, or have only mild illness, from West Nile virus – although some rare and severe cases can be fatal.
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3. Dusk to dawn: Avoid outdoors from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

4. Draining: Be sure to drain any standing water outside your home.

Not all mosquitoes bite – and other key facts

More than 3,500 types of mosquitoes are found worldwide, according to the CDC.

Not all mosquitoes bite people or animals.

Yet when these insects bite humans, the most common reactions are itching and swelling at the site.

Mosquitoes can bite both day and night.

Mosquitoes can bite both day and night.
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The CDC has shared the following key facts about the insect on its website.

Adult mosquitoes live both indoors and outdoors.

Mosquitoes can bite day or night.

Adult mosquitoes live about 2-4 weeks depending on species, humidity, temperature and other factors. (Female mosquitoes often live longer than male mosquitoes.)

Mosquitoes become infected with germs, such as viruses and parasites, when they bite infected people and animals.

Only female mosquitoes bite humans and animals to feed on blood. (Female mosquitoes need a blood meal to produce eggs.)

Mosquitoes become infected with germs, such as viruses and parasites, when they bite infected people and animals.

A young man is seen spraying mosquito repellent in the forest.

A young man is seen spraying mosquito repellent in the forest.
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Only a few infected mosquitoes can trigger an outbreak in a community and put people at risk of getting sick.

Repairs outside the home

To control the mosquito population outside your home, the CDC recommends a series of steps.

Because mosquitoes lay eggs near water sources, the CDC recommends that people empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or discard all objects that hold water such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, swimming pools, birdbaths, flower pot saucers or garbage cans at least once a week.

Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay their eggs.

Also, tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay their eggs.

For containers without a lid, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito, the CDC also advises.

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Fill tree holes to prevent water from filling them.

If you have a septic tank, repair any cracks or gaps.

Also cover open vents or plumbing pipes. Use a wire mesh with smaller holes than an adult mosquito.

Repairs inside the house

To keep mosquitoes away from the home, the CDC suggests three key tips.

Install or repair and use window and door screens.

Close doors, including garage doors. Don’t leave the doors open.

Use air conditioning when possible.

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito gets a blood meal from a human host in this photo obtained by Reuters November 23, 2015.

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito gets a blood meal from a human host in this photo obtained by Reuters November 23, 2015.
(REUTERS/Jim Gathany/CDC/Handout via Reuters)

The fact is, mosquitoes tend to rest in dark, damp places such as under sinks, in showers, in closets, under furniture, or even in laundry rooms, the CDC points out.

Caring for your home and family includes emptying, scrubbing and discarding all objects that may contain water (such as vases and flower pots), as they may contain mosquito eggs and larvae; and using an indoor insecticide if you still have mosquitoes in your home (always follow label directions).

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You can also hire a pest control professional to treat areas around the house.

Lemon eucalyptus oil (OLE) can also be used to repel mosquitoes.

The CDC offers many more tips on mosquito control and bite prevention on its website.

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