Tips on how to surviveÂ Katy’s tiny torturers
It’s May. It’s warm. It’s humid. And it just rained – boat loads! Not quite a frog strangler, perhaps, but certainly a gully-washer. All that water is now breeding amd hatching grounds for mosquitoes over the next few weeks; 55 species of the insects live in the Houston area alone.Â
Floodwater Mosquitoes lay their eggs in soil, where they wait for the flooding rains we saw over the weekend. Those eggs will now hatch. The good news is that flood water mosquitoes don’t carry the West Nile virus. The bad news is that the other kind of mosquitoes – the culex mosquitoes that lay their eggs in standing water – do carry West Nile Virus.Â Any containers like garbage cans, old tires, and storm sewers that go stagnant after the rains, are breeding grounds for the culex. The end of may and beginning of June is typically when the first cases of West Nile start popping up.
The good news is that the city of Katy provides mosquito spraying services twice a week beginning in May, but the City needs your help. Mosquito larvae need Â still water for five or more days to mature into adult biting mosquitoes. These numbers can be reduced by removing sources of standing water in residential areas.
Suggested ways to help reduce standing water sources – and the mosquitoes that breed in them – include clearing away old tires, buckets, drums Â and any water-holding containers.Â Fill in the low spots in your yard that hold water for long periods of time.Â Ridding drains, ditches, and culverts of weeds and trash so they flow freely. Â The same goes for debris in rain gutters. Cover trash containers and empty plastic wading pools.Â Replace the water in birdbaths and plant pots with fresh water weekly. Keep ornamental ponds stocked with fish since they eat mosquito larvae. Use mosquito repellant and wear appropriate clothing when outdoors to prevent mosquito bites. Â Don’t wear concentrated perfumes since insects find there smells appealing.
Should you or your family get bitten anyway, there are several home remedies for soothing the itch:
- Try cooling the sting with cold water or ice.
- Another home remedy is making a sticky paste of baking powder and water and dabbing it on the mosquito bites.
- Moisten the bite with water, and rub salt on it.
- Apply apple cider vinegar directly on the bite.
- Rub a bit of toothpaste – peppermint is best – to the area.
- Aloe will stop the itch and heal the bite.
Calamine lotion works well also. So if none of the home remedies work, you may just need a trip to the drug store. Are there any other home remedies or inexpensive ideas for soothing mosquito bites?