ATLANTA, Sept. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 80 percent of parents take precautions to safeguard their children against mosquito activity, according to a new poll commissioned by Atlanta-based pest control leader Orkin.
The poll revealed that 84 percent of parents use insect repellent to protect their children, while 44 percent use citronella candles and/or torches. A full 40 percent of parents limit their kids' outdoor playtime altogether during mosquito season. Nearly one in five parents (18 percent) do not take any extra measures to protect their children from mosquito bites.
While many think of Labor Day as the unofficial end to summer, warm weather can last well into September and create the perfect breeding environment for mosquitoes, according to Orkin entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. Mosquito breeding season typically runs through September, while West Nile virus season can stretch into October in some regions of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 45 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes so far in 2013, including 497 human cases and 20 deaths from the mosquito-borne disease."Generally, for most species, when temperatures drop below 50 degrees at night, mosquito populations will begin to decrease significantly," says Harrison. "Until then, homeowners should take precautions to avoid creating ideal breeding conditions around their homes." Harrison recommends vigilance such as insect repellent and limited outdoor playtime, coupled with the following tips to help prevent mosquitoes around the home through the end of mosquito season:
- Remove standing water in the obvious places, such as flower pots and bird baths, but keep in mind that children's toys left outside and playground equipment also can have small crevices where water can collect. Be sure to inspect and empty standing water – it only takes a cup of water for mosquitoes to breed – especially after any late-summer rainfall.
- Make sure screens around the home, both on windows and doors, fit tightly and have no holes to keep mosquitoes from making their way into the house.
- As daylight hours get shorter, be sure to light up outdoor spaces where children play with yellow bulbs that are less attractive to mosquitoes.