Warm summer weather brings lots of sunshine and enjoyable outdoor activities, but it also brings an abundance of unwanted bugs and mosquitoes. These outdoor pests not only ruin your outdoor gatherings, but they bite and cause itching and illness for your children and pets.
Outdoor activities during spring and summer can be miserable without some type of mosquito repellent or mosquito spray for Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
Mosquito Season in New Jersey
According to state weather records, in 2015 New Jersey experienced the fifth warmest winter on record since 1895. December was the warmest December ever recorded, and January and February were much warmer than usual. February was the Garden State’s 19th warmest February on record, compared to February 2014 which was the third coldest with average temperatures of about 22 degrees.
Most of the unusually high winter temperatures this year can be blamed on a wave of mild weather in December, with average daily temperatures close to 48 degrees, about 12 to 14 degrees warmer than normal.
Although experts say that there is no way to predict how bad a mosquito season will be, there are contributing factors that increase mosquito breeding. One of those factors is a warmer-than-usual winter, which New Jersey has just experienced. Most species of mosquitoes need two important things to thrive – warm weather and water or moisture.
With the warmer-than-usual New Jersey winter that just passed, mosquitoes were able to lay their eggs weeks ahead of normal breeding time. Lawns and landscapes were watered more than normal to combat warmer temperatures. This contributed to more standing water and excess moisture, another main factor for mosquito breeding.
According to the Department of Environmental Protection, it only takes a thin layer of water in a bird bath or a small pool of water in a landscape to provide a thriving breeding ground for mosquitoes.
What does all of this mean for New Jersey? According to New Jersey public health officials, warm winter temperatures may have set up the perfect storm for a spring and summer mosquito invasion in the state. The Asian tiger mosquito, one of the peskiest types of mosquitoes common in NJ, is expected to emerge from their eggs as early as April or May.
Mosquito repellents and mosquito spray for Zika are essential to protect your family and pets from mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus, dengue virus and now Zika virus, which is spreading to the U.S.
What is Zika Virus?
The Zika virus that started in Brazil has spread rapidly across tropical regions of South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and South Pacific. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 500 people who traveled in these Zika affected areas have returned to the United States within the past year. As mosquito season begins, local outbreaks of Zika virus are expected to rise around the country.
The Zika virus has gained world-wide attention because of the severe birth defects it causes in babies born to pregnant mothers who are infected by the virus. Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms in people include skin rash, conjunctivitis (pink or red eyes), fever and joint pain.
When bitten by an infected mosquito, illness is usually mild with symptoms that last for several days to a week. Many people don’t realize that they have been bitten and don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, but symptoms take a toll on normal health. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy poses huge risks for the fetus.
It can cause a serious birth defect, known as microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. According to the CDC, once a person has been infected, he/she is likely to be protected from future infections, but that fact is still not certain because the virus is so new.
Since there is no treatment for Zika, a mosquito spray for Zika is essential to prevent breeding of mosquitoes and the spread of the virus.
In 2015, the first confirmed Zika virus infection was reported in Brazil by the Pan American Health Organization. In February 2016, the Zika virus was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Since then, Zika infections have been reported in many different countries, including the United States. According to the CDC, the virus is likely to continue to spread in the next few years resulting in more confirmed cases around the world. With no cure, a mosquito spray for
According to the CDC, the virus is likely to continue to spread in the next few years resulting in more confirmed cases around the world. With no cure, a mosquito spray for Zika will provide important protection against mosquito bites and potential infection.
The Importance of Spraying for Mosquitoes
Getting rid of mosquitoes in your landscape is important to your outdoor enjoyment and the health of your family and pets. Spraying for mosquitoes should be part of your regular lawn care and maintenance routine provided by a landscape professional. DIY sprays and insecticide treatments may provide temporary relief from biting mosquitoes, but year-round, long-term relief will require professional help.
DIY sprays and insecticide treatments may provide temporary relief from biting mosquitoes, but year-round, long-term relief will require professional help.
For maximum protection, insecticide sprays for mosquitoes should be directed to shrubs, tall grass, flower beds and dark, damp places in your landscape where mosquitoes typically rest. Lawn and garden permethrin-based insecticides provide low-toxicity and odorless benefits, but they often don’t provide long-term protection, especially in a dense landscape or a yard with a pool or spa.
There are a number of organic repellents and mosquito spray for Zika that will provide excellent protection against mosquitoes while providing an eco-friendly outdoor environment for your home. Talk to a Bergen County landscape company that offers an Integrated Pest Management Program for year-round protection from mosquitoes, as well as a variety of other outdoor pests.
An Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) is a pest control approach that uses natural, organic pest control for your landscape. It prevents many outdoor pests, including mosquitoes and promotes a safe outdoor environment for your home. If you have existing pest problems and damages, an IPM can help identify the pests and provide proper pest control solutions to prevent further damage.
In addition to regular lawn care and maintenance, an Integrated Pest Management Program can provide specialty treatments that prevent outdoor pests year-round. IPM specialty treatments include:
- Winter protection treatments
- Organic root feedings
- Organic mosquito, flea and tick control
- Organic deer repellent
- Other special treatments as needed
In addition to mosquito spray for Zika and West Nile virus, there are other things you can do to reduce mosquitoes in your landscape:
- Eliminate standing water in your lawn and landscape. Mosquitoes can breed in less than one inch of standing water and hatch within seven to ten days.
- Change water in bird baths, planters, wading pools and outdoor pet bowls each week.
- Use a natural bacterium that kills mosquito larvae in outdoor ponds and streams. It is non-toxic to fish and people.
- Keep your gutters clean to prevent mosquito breeding.
- Check your sprinklers and hoses to prevent over-watering and leaks.
- Clean your swimming pool, spa and covers regularly.
- Create ornamental ponds with goldfish and guppies that feed on mosquitoes.
- Fill your landscape with plants that naturally repel mosquitoes. Rose-scented geraniums and lemon balm contain citronella and natural oils that repel mosquitoes. Catnip contains an essential oil called nepatalactone which has been found to be 10 times more effective for mosquito control than DEET.
Mosquitoes in your lawn and landscape can ruin your summer season and outdoor activities with family and friends. Mosquito bites can cause itching, swelling, redness, pain and allergic reactions in some people.
With mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus, dengue virus and Zika virus spreading rapidly in different areas, organic repellents and mosquito spray for Zika are important means of protection from bites and illness that can cause harm to your family and pets.
Talk to a Bergen County landscape professional about the importance of spraying for mosquitoes in your lawn and landscape. With mosquito season quickly approaching, you’ll want to protect your home and enjoy your summer season.