It’s that time of year again, step outside for just a minute and they’re on you: mosquitoes. If you rarely get bitten, consider yourself lucky; for the rest of us they’re a pest at best and adanger at worst. Carrying mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus, the Zika Virus (which can cause birth defects in pregnant women), and Encephalitis, mosquitoes are one of the more annoying parts of summer and can sometimes be a real danger to the public health.

Preventing Mosquitoes:

Prevention is the key when it comes to mosquitoes looking for a blood meal and there are a few things you can do to help keep mosquitoes away from you and your family.

Wearing long sleeves and long pants can help, but in the summer convincing kids (and most adults) to bundle up is generally a no-go. So what else can you try? Head over to your local Brinkmann’s Hardware and pick up some insect repellant that contains DEET. DEET is NOT meant to be used on the skin, it’s meant to be used on clothing, but it does provide effective mosquito control when used properly. There are even some clothes on the market that contain DEET in the fabric. Other sprays that prevent mosquito bites and can be used directly on the skin include Eucalyptus, Lemon Essential Oil, and Picaridin as ingredients.

Yard sprays are another way for you to avoid mosquito bites. If you look in the garden section you’ll find mosquito repellents in the form of a spray you can use on your grass and bushes, which will help keep the area clear of pests for a time.

Mosquito Traps:

There are also CO2 mosquito traps that attract and then kill mosquitoes. Put one in the far corner of your yard, and you’ll see a lot fewer mosquito bites.

Finally, you can help to avoid getting bitten by interrupting the life cycle of mosquitoes by getting rid of any standing water where they breed. Even a bottle cap’s worth of water can be a breeding ground for these pesky insects, and mosquito larvae transform into adult mosquitos extremely quickly. If you have a birdbath or other standing water that you would prefer not to dump out, pick up some mosquito dunks at Brinkmann’s. These are safe for birds and other animals, but won’t let mosquito eggs hatch out.

By combining all of these strategies you’ll give yourself the best possible chance to get through the summer without getting bitten by those pesky little buzzers.