Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - 10:35am
Avoiding Bites and Enjoying the Outdoors
The mosquito season in Dane County started this past May but mosquito activity has been relatively low until now. Recent rainfall has spurred the emergence of a extra large crop of pesky mosquitoes that are causing problems in many parts of Dane County. The majority of the mosquitoes that are pestering us are the floodwater mosquitoes, which generally don't carry disease such as West Nile virus but can be a significant deterrent to our enjoyment of the many outdoor activities in Madison and Dane County.
The best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites is by keeping mosquitoes out of your house, wearing long pants and long sleeves while outside, and using a repellant that contains Deet, Picaridin (KBR3023), or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The US Environmental Protection Agency has a new tool to help pick the repellent that may work best for you. The tool can be found at:
While we cannot completely exclude mosquitoes from our outdoor activities, you can reduce their presence by eliminating standing water on your property that can provide excellent locations for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. These small stagnant water sources around our homes are especially attractive to the Culex mosquitoes that are most likely to be carrying West Nile virus in our area. To decrease your chances of being a mosquito nursery:
• Clean out clogged rain gutters,
• Change the water in birdbaths, wading pools, and pet water dishes every three to four days,
• Properly dispose of old tires, see the Recyclopedia for more information.
• Make sure that items on your property (boats, pool covers, pots, bird baths, etc) do not hold water for more than 3 - 4 days.
For more information on what works and what doesn't work to keep the mosquitoes at bay, visit the UW Integrated Mosquito Management website at:
- John Hausbeck , 608-243-0331