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Mosquitoes can survive drought, just add water

Special to the Courier

In the middle of a drought, the last thing on your mind is mosquitoes. But recent sudden torrential downpours - combined with dry soil - can lead to ponding and standing water, perfect breeding places for these pests.
With Texas-size rainfalls, Massey Services, the nation's fifth largest pest prevention company, offers these tips to lessen the bites and keep you protected from mosquito-borne illnesses such as encephalitis and West Nile virus.
• Mosquito larvae can develop and become adults in a matter of days; drain standing water from bird baths, kiddie pools and plant pots often to eliminate breeding habitats.
• Clear leaves and debris from gutters and drains to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water.
• Avoid working or playing outdoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active. If you must be outside at these times, wear long sleeves and long pants.
• Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing; use insect repellant with DEET, applying it not only to skin but clothing, as well.
• If you prefer an organic alternative to DEET use orange spray, eucalyptus, or citronella.
• Make sure all windows and doors in your home are closed tightly and that screens are well-sealed to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.
There are 13 species of mosquitoes capable of transmitting diseases. Professional pest prevention companies like Massey Services can provide proper control and elimination services through a customized mosquito abatement program.