ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Protecting Your Family from Mosquitos

Updated on February 26, 2013
Culex mosquitoes (the ones that carry West Nile Virus) breed and lay eggs in water that has gone stagnant.
Culex mosquitoes (the ones that carry West Nile Virus) breed and lay eggs in water that has gone stagnant. | Source
Other mosquito species lay their eggs in flood waters. These type do not carry the West Nile Virus.
Other mosquito species lay their eggs in flood waters. These type do not carry the West Nile Virus. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

During the spring, summer and early autumn months, heavy rains bring on the mosquitoes, especially in the southern states. Every time it rains, bumper crops of the pests hatch and go looking for victims. Any place water stands can become breeding and hatching grounds for the next generation of mosquitoes. In areas of the country, where it normally rains a lot, there are many species of mosquitoes. Houston, for example, plays host to at least 55 species of the little blood-suckers. But don't worry.There are ways to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites from knowing whre they are most likely to lay their eggs, to prevention techniques, and even to taking care of the bites after they've appeared.

Where Mosquitoes Lay Their Eggs

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in soil and any place where standing water is a constant (i.e. storm sewers and containers that hold water). The eggs remain dormant, awaiting the next rainstorm. Ponding, standing water, and flooding that occurs following a rain promotes the hatching process.

The mosquitoes that hatch from flood waters don't carry the dangerous West Nile Virus, but the mosquitos that hatch from standing water sites (in particular the Culex mosquitoes) do carry the virus. Any containers that hold standing water - including garbage cans, old tires, birdbaths, storm sewers, retention ponds, and parks serving as water retention basins - any place where the water goes stagnant after the rains have stopped, are the breeding grounds for the Culex mosquitoes. The end of May and beginning of June marks the beginning of the West Nile Virus Season.

Community Wide Solutions

Many communities around the country - especially those prone to mosquito infestation problems - provide mosquito spraying. They generally spray the usual mosquito larvae sites as soon after a rain as possible, and continue spraying for up to 5 days following a rain event. Some communities and cities have programs in place to remove sources of standing water (old tires for example) in city or county-wide areas, and in some cases, will even provide such removal in residential areas.

What Private Citizens Can Do About Standing Water

In most residential neighborhoods, the residents are responsible for clearing away any debris or containers that hold standing water and may become breeding grounds mosquitoes. The following tasks will help control mosquitoes within your neighborhood:

  • Get rid of old tires, buckets, metal drums or any other unused containers that will hold stagnant water.
  • Regularly empty and clean out other water holding containers, like wading pools and bird baths.
  • Regularly clear debris from drains, ditches, culverts and rain gutters so that storm waters will drain away quickly when it rains.
  • Keep trash cans, wading pools, and sand boxes when a storm is imminent in order to keep the excess water out.
  • Replace water in birdbaths weekly
  • Keep ornamental ponds stocked with fish - they eat insects including mosquitoes.

Other Ways to Protect Your Family from Mosquitos

A few of the practical measures for mosquito bite protection include wearing mosquito repellant and protective clothing when outdoors. This is especially true at dusk and dawn when the humidity levels go up and the temperatures are cool enough to be considered inviting weather for the mosquitoes. Also steer clear of perfumes as mosquitoes are attracted to them.

Mosquito Bite Remedies

Even with preventative measure, mosquito bites happen. Try one of these home remedies to help calm the itch.

  • Cool the sting by rubbing it with cold water or ice.
  • Make a paste from baking powder and water, then smear it over the bites.
  • Wet the bite with water, then rub the area with salt.
  • Wipe the bite area with apple cider vinegar.
  • Spread a little to the bite area. Peppermint works best.
  • Stop the itching with aloe. Aloe will also speed up the healing process.

If all else fails, go to the store and purchase some calamine lotion. It cools and soothes the bites.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • joanwz profile imageAUTHOR

      Joan Whetzel 

      5 years ago from Katy, Texas

      I have a nephew and a grandchild who are the same way. Guess you are just so sweet you're irresistable.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      5 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for sharing this informative hub. Mosquitoes love me and they always bite me even if I wear pants at night time. I´ll try your advice here. Thank you;-)

    • Jennifer Silagy profile image

      Jennifer Silagy 

      6 years ago from California

      Great suggestions! My daughter seems to be a favorite of the mosquitoes. I will have to try those remedies next time she gets bitten!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Joan, Mosquitoes love me and I'm always looking for ways to relieve the itch. I will try some of your methods that you've listed. I go through a ton of musk oil during mosquito season but they still manage to bite me.

      Up and useful!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)