Ways to decrease mosquitoes around your home

By David Whisenant - bio l email

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - It's not just the heat... it's the mosquitoes!

The high temperatures and the recent heavy rains have helped the mosquito population to increase which has resulted in one of summer's most annoying problems--mosquito bites.

If you're tired of staying inside, or tired of sitting outside and constantly slapping yourself at the first itch, take heart!

It's all a bout getting rid of the standing water.

"Everybody is trying to keep their plants watered during this drought hot season," said Darrell Blackwelder of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.   "They have standing water under saucers and lids, that needs to dry out every day because they breed so quickly and rapidly."

Blackwelder says the best advice is to remove the water. It can be found in gutters, ditches, birdbaths, even things like old tires can be full of standing water.

If you can't get rid of them, can you keep them away? It isn't easy.

Mosquitoes are naturally attracted to the smells of the gases in our bodies that we give off in breathing, and they can sense it 100 feet away, they can see movement and know that if something moves it's alive, and full of blood, and they can detect heat.

Chemical sprays are popular though some worry about their safety. Blackwelder says he believes most are safe and that some popular folk remedies don't really work.

"Can you eat garlic, other people use fabric softeners...we found that really doesn't work."

There are more than 2700 mosquito species in the world, but in the Carolinas it is the Asian tiger mosquito that is most likely to bite you.  They mainly bite around dawn and in the early evening and can fly up to 75 miles from their breeding ground.

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