Warm, Wet Springs Sets the Stage for an Early Mosquito Season

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Many regions of the country are experiencing an unusually warm and wet spring- a weather pattern that is likely to foster an earlier and more severe mosquito season, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns. The NPMA is asking homeowners to take action now to eliminate potential breeding sites for mosquitoes on or around their properties.

"The heavier-than-normal precipitation that many areas of the country received this spring have left areas of standing water, which are perfect mosquito breeding grounds," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "This is cause for concern, as mosquitoes are not simply a nuisance pest but can spread dangerous diseases, notably West Nile virus (WNV), to humans."

According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 12,263 confirmed cases of WNV infection in the U.S. between 1999 and 2008 and 16,698 probable cases during that same time period. Symptoms of WNV infection include headache, fever, rash, muscle ache and gastrointestinal symptoms. WNV infection can lead to encephalitis and meningitis, but as many as 80% of infected humans show no symptoms at all.

NPMA offers these tips to protect homeowners from mosquitoes:

  • Eliminate sources of stagnant water including birdbaths, "kiddie" pools, swimming pool covers, barrels, and other objects that collect water.
  • Add a fountain or drip system to birdbaths and ponds on your property to keep water fresh.
  • Keep windows and doors properly screened.
  • Be alert when outdoors during dawn and dusk hours, when mosquito activity peaks.
  • Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing, open-toe shoes and sweet-smelling perfumes or colognes when outdoors.
  • Plan ahead for spending time outdoors and wear mosquito repellant with DEET.
  • If you have a mosquito infestation on your property, call a pest professional for additional advice and treatment.

For more information or to find a professional in your area, please visit: www.pestworld.org.

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.

###