Beat West Nile Virus
& Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space by Debbie Rodgers
With the threat of West Nile virus
– a disease spread by mosquitoes – being loudly declared in the
media, we may wonder if it's safe to be outside this year. But
spring and summer are seasons that we are meant to relish outdoors.
Don't let the fear of West Nile virus keep you from enjoying a
single day in your home's outdoor space. These eight easy and
affordable tips will let you safely while away the warmer days in
your own backyard.
For good reason, mosquito netting
is proving very popular this year, showing up in such colours as
gold and purple. Choose one with a canopy center and drape it
over a market umbrella. These are available now with water
bag-weighted hems to keep the net firm to the ground. There are
even custom-made nets for hammocks.
If you have a porch or veranda,
the ideal solution is to convert it to a screened-in area.
Besides keeping out mosquitoes and other flying pests such as
houseflies and wasps, a screened in porch stays cleaner and
provides more security for children, pets and belongings.
For a patio area or deck, consider
a free-standing dining enclosure or gazebo with mesh sides. Many
of these do not require pounding stakes into the ground, and are
Try to reduce the numbers of
mosquitoes. The pesky critters are drawn to, and breed in,
standing water. If you have bird baths or butterfly puddles, be
sure to change the water regularly to prevent it from becoming
Many birds eat mosquitoes by the
pound. Attract birds to your garden and enjoy the additional
benefits of their beauty and song.
Mosquito coils and citronella
candles have some repellent effect and can be considered an
extra tool in your arsenal.
Remember that mosquitoes are most
likely to bite at dusk and dawn. If possible, avoid being out of
doors at those times.
Perhaps most importantly, use a
proven insect repellent. The U.S. Center for Disease Control
recommends products containing DEET. DEET is the only product
which has been found to be truly effective in repelling
mosquitoes and it has been subjected to intense safety testing.
Use these tips and the mosquitoes
won't keep you from enjoying your outdoor space this year!
Debbie Rodgers owns
and operates Paradise Porch, and is dedicated to helping people
create outdoor living spaces that nurture and enrich them. Visit her
on the web at www.paradiseporch.com
and get a free report on "Eight easy ways to create privacy in
your outdoor space". Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org