During this past long, difficult and snowy winter, Massachusetts residents were kept busy shoveling out cars and blowing away snow and preventing accidents from ice and related debris. At times it seemed as if spring would never come – but now it is here, and the concerned homeowner has a new problem: snow melt. Once temperatures warm, snow becomes water, and standing water is a fertile breeding ground for mosquitoes. After a winter of 110 inches of snow, Massachusetts residents need to be prepared for an especially serious period of mosquito activity.
As you might know, there are several species of mosquitoes, some of which grow to adulthood before the cold hits. These survive the winter by burrowing into hollow logs or animal nests, or in man-made dwellings such as stables, abandoned buildings, horse stables, etc.
Other kinds will overwinter as larvae at the edges of ponds or buried in mud and wait for spring. Some will survive as eggs, resting in floodwater, in containers of standing water, or in uncovered pools.
However they make it through the winter, mosquitoes will venture out in temperatures of about 60 degrees. It only takes one or two days of sustained warm weather and a little bit of water, and mosquitoes will be looking for hosts upon which to feed. Having fed, they will breed, and the next generation of mosquitoes will start the whole cycle over again. Conditions this spring, with much more run-off and standing water than normal, make it especially important that homeowners do everything they can to prevent mosquitoes and their bites.
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services urges all residents to guard against becoming bitten by mosquitoes, because the feeding mosquito can also infect its host with serious illnesses, such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). The CDC notes that WNV infections often have no symptoms; and serious cases are rare. However, while also rare, EEE can have serious effects, such as brain damage or even death.
Preventing mosquito bites involve protecting yourself and your environment. You should wear clothing that covers most of your body and keeps mosquitoes from finding a place to bite. State and national health organizations also ask homeowners to check screens for holes or gaps, and to drain standing water in cans, pools, buckets, decorative ponds, or particularly damp areas in your yard.
Nevertheless, the conscientious homeowner will want to do everything he or she can to ensure a safe and happy spring and summer, and a healthy transition into fall. Mosquito Squad of Central Mass can help with reliable, effective and long-lasting protection. Our mosquito barrier protection, applied every two to three weeks, protects your entire yard. Mosquitoes are eliminated on contact, and those that come along later and land on your plants and trees will also be eliminated.