Summer has just barely broken the surface but if you've spent any amount of time outdoors lately you've likely noticed an inordinately high number of our favorite summertime pests: Mosquitos. Skeeters. Blood Suckers. Mozzies. Squeeter Teeters. Nippers. Yeah. We just love the little guys. Or should I say, little girls?

Here's a fact about mosquitos that you may not know. Only female mosquitos bite to suck blood. But not all female mosquitos bite humans. Different kinds of mosquitos like different kinds of blood. Some feed on animals like frogs and birds. Others just bite mammals like humans and horses. And some mosquitos bite birds and mammals, which plays an important role in spreading disease. For instance, diseases that are normally found in birds can be transmitted to humans by mosquitos that bite both birds and mammals.

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What's my point to all this? Be extra protective this summer against mosquitos because as WWLP/22 News Springfield reports, there's going to be a lot of them.

An entomologist from American Pest Solutions, Bob Russell, says he's already seen a dramatic increase in the number of mosquitos.

Russell told 22 News, "On our property, I noticed a standing water site that was only there for a week and it had literally hundreds of mosquito larva developing in it in just a week’s time."

Keep in mind that most mosquito bites are not a cause for concern only causing itching or a small skin irritation. However, some mosquitoes carry germs that can make people and some animals sick. In Massachusetts, the diseases linked to mosquitoes are West Nile virus (WNV) and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus.

There are some useful hacks to use to keep the mosquitos away:

  • Use fine mesh screens in all open windows and doors. That way, you can maximize the fresh air indoors, but keep the skeeters out
  • Get rid of any nearby standing water. Mosquitos reproduce in water, even in the small amount that would fit into a bottlecap. So make sure you empty anything that can be a rain catcher after a rainfall and water also pools in roof gutters, so keep them clear
  • Keep your yard under control and cut back high grass and tree limbs. Mosquitos love shady, cool spots
  • Here's something you probably didn't know. Some studies show outdoor fans keep away mosquitos more effectively than citronella candles or air diffusers
  • And lastly, keep covered, and don't be stingy with the repellent. Look for repellents that contain DEET. They're the most effective

For more info, check out WWLP's website here.

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