Warmer Weather Means More Outdoor Time...and Mosquitoes

  • Published
  • By A1C Jakobie N. Mitchell

Mosquitoes become active when temperatures are consistently above 50 degrees. We usually don't pay them much mind when we plan our outdoor activities but remembering a few simple tips can ensure a more enjoyable experience.

Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance but can pose a threat to your health due to their ability to spread diseases. The main mosquito-borne disease risk in the local area is West Nile Virus (WNV). California's most prevalent mosquito-borne disease, WNV is transmitted to humans when bitten by infected mosquitoes.

Parks, hiking trails and backyards can provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. The primary step in preventing mosquito breeding is eliminating breeding areas such as yard items, plastic pools, toys, or any item that can hold standing water. Covering tree holes may also assist in reducing mosquito breeding.

Mosquitoes can also make their way indoors if there are routes of entry. Protect your household or workspace by repairing all broken windows and ensuring window screens fit tightly and are free of holes. As mosquitoes are weak fliers, they can be deterred from entry by fans that are placed facing outwards in front of doors that open frequently.  

When making your way outdoors, clothing such as long sleeves, long pants, socks, and boots can provide a protective barrier from mosquitoes and other pests. This barrier can be fortified if treated with permethrin. Use 0.5% permethrin to treat clothing and gear such as tents. Remember that permethrin must not be used on skin and to follow label directions whenever it is used.

Lastly, protecting exposed skin from mosquito bites can be accomplished by applying insect repellent with DEET or Picaridin. Remember to use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed by label instructions, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Public Health surveys Beale Air Force Base for vector-borne diseases in targeted areas where mosquitoes pose a risk to the population. Mosquito traps are designed to survey a sample of the mosquito population for active disease, but do not provide an effective means of mosquito control.

Mosquitoes should not stop you from going outdoors. Simple prevention methods will protect you from the risks of mosquitoes and get you out enjoying activities that come with warmer weather.