Tip of the Day: How to deal with a severe mosquito season

Consumer Reports News: July 13, 2009 05:10 PM

With rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, mosquitoes that carry malaria and the West Nile virus have spread northward and to higher elevations. (Global warming might also make poison ivy more prevalent.)

And heavy rains in the Northeast and an abundant supply of unsold homes—those properties can become mosquito havens—have sparked predictions of a worse-than-usual mosquito season. Get your local mosquito-activity forecast on Weather.com.

Read this recent post on our Health blog for details on how to avoid and deal with mosquito bites. For maximum protection, use an insect repellent. Our report on insect repellents found that the top-rated products will protect you for up to 12 hours from mosquitoes and deer ticks (ratings are available to subscribers). We haven't tested it yet, but the new Off! Clip-On Mosquito Repellent, which uses a battery-powered fan to circulate the repellent, promises to keep insects away for up to 12 hours.

To stop mosquitoes from shacking up at your home, keep your gutters clean and turn over or drill drain holes in the bottom of buckets and any other item that can hold standing water. If you have one, empty your kiddie pool when it's not in use, and cover your rainwater-collection barrel(s). If properties near you have sources of standing water, make your local health authority aware of the problem.—Gian Trotta | | Twitter | Forums | Facebook

Essential information: Find out more ways to control runaway rainwater and pests in five home repairs you shouldn't ignore.

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