The climbing temperatures coupled with abundant summer rain mean metro Atlantans can expect to hear that irritating high-pitched whine near their ears when outside.
Mosquitoes are back.
Experts from Orkin to the University of Georgia release lists yearly of ways to cut down on the biting pests or protect yourself.
Here’s a piece of advice you may have not heard before, if headed for an evening picnic, lay off the perfume or after shave. Though you may hope to be alluring to the opposite sex, the fragrance is sure to make mosquitoes come hither.
If you are pitching that picnic, mow the grass the day before. The bugs like to hang out in green cover.
And get rid of standing water. It takes about a cup of water for mosquitoes to breed, so beside emptying water out of obvious places such as flower pots, clean gutters and downspouts or cover the opening with mesh to prevent leaves and debris from collecting and holding water. Empty out the cups left on the picnic table, check children’s toys and playground equipment left in the yard where water can collect. You can even fill in those rain-filled holes in tree stumps with sand.
For water fountains and decorative ponds, try goldfish, which eat the larvae, or drop in a briquette containing Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis, a species of bacteria that kills only mosquito larvae. They are available at garden centers and hardware. Dump out the bird bath, scrub it down with a brush then refill with fresh water.
Here’s a list of other tips:
• Orkin experts recommend wearing EPA-approved insect repellent, check the label, along with long sleeve shirts and long pants. See more information here http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/.
• Replace outdoor light bulbs with yellow bulbs that are less attractive to mosquitoes.
•Drill holes in the bottom, not the sides, of any garbage or recycling containers. Holes on the sides still allow enough water to accumulate in the bottom for mosquitoes to breed.
•Keep swimming pools cleaned and chlorinated, even when not in use. Homeowners who go on vacation without chlorinating their pools may return to a veritable mosquito hatchery.
•Don’t leave water in pet bowls for more than two days.
•Check tarps on boats or other equipment/items that may collect water in pockets or indentations.
•The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that repellents used on children contain no more than 10% DEET.