As the summer continues, so do stories about the potentially deadly West Nile Virus. The illness has plagued almost every state so far this year, but no state has seen more cases of the virus than Texas. The mayor of Dallas declared a state of emergency, and many other communities are worried that a bite will infect them with the sickness.
Many people think those who get sick catch West Nile from venturing out into the wilderness, or lingering near areas with standing water, such as lakes or ponds. This is not the case – most people catch West Nile in their own backyards. If you don't take proper pest control precautions in and around your home, it could result in a serious condition for a member of the family.
The danger in your backyard
Take a walk through your yard, and you'll be amazed at the amount of breeding grounds available to mosquitoes. Wet flower pots, pools, bird baths, clogged gutters and a bowl of water for the family dog provide ample opportunities for the blood-sucking pests to reproduce. Just a tiny amount of water is enough to produce a new generation of mosquitoes that could potentially carry West Nile Virus.
What's worse is the mosquitoes will not travel far from their homes, meaning all the pests in your backyard at dusk are likely hiding out there all day. They are likely taking refuge in shady places or plants, just waiting for the opportunity to bite.
Preventative measures in and around the home
Don't rely on luck alone to spare your family from West Nile. The life threatening disease can be prevented by taking simple steps to make your home unfriendly to the pests. Take the first step and examine your home for areas bugs may be able to enter through. Because some mosquitoes like to invade homes, it is important to make sure window and door screens are well-fitted and free from tears. Keep the buzzing pests out of the house by making sure doors and windows are kept closed if screens are unavailable or defective.
Your yard should be your next stop when trying to eliminate the risk of West Nile. Carefully check your yard for standing water and drain as much as possible. Getting rid of something as small as a puddle in a flowerpot may save a family member from the severe disease.
If these steps have been taken and mosquitoes are still increasing around your home, it may be time to call in a pest control expert to get rid of the insects in and around your house.