COLORADO SPRINGS — Mosquito season is here and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) give a few tips and tricks to keep pesky mosquitos from terrorizing you and your family.

Mosquitoes can Spread Germs

According to the CDC, over 200 types of mosquitoes live in the U.S. Of these mosquitoes, 12 spread germs such as viruses and parasites that can make people and animals sick. Other mosquitoes are just considered a nuisance and do not spread germs. It is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites since it is difficult to distinguish which mosquitos could be spreading germs.

Most Common Mosquito-Born Illnesses

CDC says more than 2,000 cases of malaria are reported annually in the United States, with most cases occurring in returned travelers.

  • West Nile
  • Malaria – most of the continental U.S. has Anopheles mosquitoes which spread malaria
  • Dengue
  • Chikungunya
  • Zika virus

The most common states where mosquito-born illnesses have been reported include Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

Protect Yourself & Your Family From Mosquito Bites

Mosquito Prevention

Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients below. EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women, states CDC.

  • DEET
  • Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
  • IR3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
  • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone

Wear long-sleeved shirts & long pants. Remember that mosquitoes can still bite through thin clothing.

  • Use 0.5% permethrin (an insecticide that kills or repels mosquitoes) to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Permethrin-treated clothing provides protection after multiple washings.
  • Do not use permethrin products directly on the skin.

Remove standing water where mosquitos lay eggs

Mosquito Prevention

Mosquitoes lay eggs near water or moist soil.

  • Empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers.
  • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
  • For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
  • Fill tree holes to prevent them from filling with water.
  • If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.

Kill Mosquitoes & Larvae Outside Your Home

Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture or under the carport or garage. They also like to be under sinks, in showers, in closets, under furniture, or in the laundry room.

  • Use an outdoor adulticide to kill adult mosquitoes in areas where they rest.
  • Use larvicides to treat large bodies of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.