Each year, more than 80 percent of Americans will enjoy at least one outdoor barbecue. To avoid the intense summer heat, many people prefer to cook later in the day, but the moderate temperatures also provide the ideal conditions for mosquitoes. In addition to being a nuisance, mosquitoes can pose a serious health risk to your family and friends. With a single painful bite, mosquitoes can transmit life-threatening diseases like West Nile virus, malaria and dengue fever.
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are attracted by body heat and carbon dioxide as well as other naturally occurring substances released when you exhale. Female mosquitoes possess long antennae and odor-sensing organs that detect carbon dioxide and other chemicals. Mosquitoes are also proficient visual hunters. You should wear light-colored clothing because darker shades make you more visible to these bloodthirsty predators.
Common Mosquito Species
Scientific studies indicate that there are 20 species of mosquito infesting the Houston area. While some species like the southern house and common malaria mosquitoes are most active at dusk or dawn, other species are active throughout the day. Aggressive daytime species include yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes. The diverse population in Houston ensures that some type of mosquito will be present and hungry whenever you cook outside.
Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Grounds
Before hosting an outdoor barbecue party, you should take steps to reduce the presence of mosquitoes. In addition to cutting back trees and shrubs, you need to remove yard debris. Check and drain or remove items that can collect water, which permit mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Potential sources of stagnant water include flowerpots, birdbaths and ornamental fountains. Cover or store small boats upside down to prevent rainwater from collecting inside the vessel. Running your pool pump and maintaining the proper water chemistry can also prevent a mosquito infestation.
Why Hire a Professional?
Eliminating likely sources of standing water and other breeding grounds is essential, but mosquitoes can still invade your property. If you want the best protection for your summer barbecue, you should contact a professional pest control company. A mosquito misting system can reduce the population of these biting insects by as much as 99 percent. Backed by a lifetime warranty, the system provides the peace of mind that mosquitoes will not crash your party. For more information on how we can help protect your family while you reclaim your outdoor living spaces, contact MosquitoNix Houston.