Mosquitoes, the diseases they carry and your backyard

Warm weather is just around the corner. As they say, April showers bring May flowers and mosquitoes. Ah yes, Mosquitoes. Those annoying things that fly around you with their whining hum of their buzzing wings. Very few animals evoke the deep-seated feeling of hate that mosquitoes do. The itchy, irritating bites and their uncanny ability to be everywhere, all at once, can ruin a backyard barbecue in minutes.

Mosquitoes are carriers for some of the most deadliest illnesses. Mosquito-borne diseases cause millions of deaths worldwide every year. Although there are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes, only three species are responsible for carrying the deadliest diseases. The Anopheles mosquitoes are the only species known to carry Malaria. They can also carry encephalitis. The Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis and the West Nile virus. While the Aedes mosquitoes, of which the Asian tiger is a member, carry yellow fever, dengue, encephalitis, and the Zika virus.

The only silver lining to all this, is that cloud of mosquitoes in your garden or backyard are a reliable source of food for quite a few animals. Birds, bats, dragonflies, and frogs love mosquitoes! Eradication and population control of Mosquitoes usually means spraying insecticides and removing standing water or proper treatment of the standing water. You can plant lemon grass, citronella, lemon balm, cat nip, horse-mint, marigolds, and lavender plants throughout your yard. These plants have a strong smell that can deter mosquitoes, helping to keep them away from you.

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