Ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes this summer

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — If you’ve been outside the last couple of days, you know mosquitoes are out in full force. It’s so bad, that Potter Park Zoo, Ionia, and Jackson County Health Departments are warning people to take precautions.

“Anytime I let my dogs out, or I step outside and go to my car. There’s just swarms of them during the day, at night, all day long,” said Chelsea Campbell.

Campbell says even with repellant, it’s not working long enough.
“It keeps them off for like a couple of minutes and then they just come right back and they swarm you. My son went out to play for probably an hour and he came back with like 40 to 50 bites on him,” she said.

Experts say the reason for so many mosquitoes is because of the heavy rains we saw not too long ago.

“The eggs are already there in the soil, the rain comes inundates those areas temporarily with water, the eggs hatch and the larvae mosquitoes that live in the water they grow really rapidly and the adult mosquitoes emerge and hatch out of those places,” said Ned Walker, Michigan State University microbiology and entomology professor.

And those places include…

“Most of the time, mosquitoes are developing in shaded wet areas. They’re really not going to be in the grass area unless it’s a shaded lawn,” said Mike Franco, President, and CEO of Pure Green Lawn care.

This week several counties issued warnings about mosquito-borne viruses including the West Nile Virus, and the Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as Triple E. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headaches, vomiting, and more. Walker says the mosquitoes out now do not carry those viruses. However, you need to keep an eye out for your pets.

“They can carry the dog heartworm parasite that affects dogs. So people who are dog owners should be sure they have the preventative medicine from their veterinarians,” said Walker.

So what can you do to avoid them?

“Number one is making sure no water is standing on the property whether they have their drains filled with debris, they need to clear that,” said Franco.

They also say repellant with DEET is more effective.

“It’s hard to avoid them if you go outside. Those repellants and personal protective measures are the immediate first line of defense against mosquitoes right now,” said Walker

And treating areas you find mosquitoes.

“Anything you can do as far as treating areas that are shaded, wet, damp, after rains, that’s when you want to start contacting a professional company or treating it yourself,” said Walker.

Other things you can do are wear long-sleeve clothing when hiking or walking in near the woods, fix any screens on your windows or doors and be sure to reapply your repellant after a few hours.

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