Source: Gravitywave/Flickr

It’s summer! Yes, that means nice weather and sunny days at the beach, but it also means nights filled with annoying buzzes, itching and scratching.

It’s mosquito season!

As the weather gets warmer and mosquito season commences, residents of coastal communities surrounding the Jamaica Bay area will be especially susceptible to bites, as the national park is not sprayed with mosquito repellant for environmental reasons.

New York Magazine, which predicts this year to be the worst year in recent history thanks to the mild winter, put all of our thoughts to words when they described mosquitoes: “Biologists call mosquitoes commensals, from the Latin indicating that we share the same table. The table is our lives, in the summer. The meal is our blood.”

Could anyone have put that in a better way?

To avoid those irritating bloodsuckers from taking bites “off your table,” those living around Jamaica Bay should take the proper precautionary steps. You can stop those bites and make this summer a better one than last!

A city Health Department survey cited by the Daily News showed that mosquitoes are attracted to buckets of water left outside, flower pots, and even soda cans.  The survey said that these are the chief mosquito breeding spots on private property. So do yourselves a favor and get rid of those half empty soda cans. Don’t just toss them in your garbage can. That will attract the bugs. Pour the soda out and rinse the can so that when you throw it out, the can is soda free. Also, be sure to keep your buckets of water and pretty flower pots inside. If the flowers are making you sneeze while indoors, its best to avoid them altogether.

Also, those living in Jamaica Bay stay indoors after dark, when mosquitoes are most rampant. Quickly close the doors to your houses when you come and go, so the bugs do not sneak in and make you look and feel like you have the chicken pox again. When late nights outdoors cannot be avoided, make sure to wear long sleeves and pants, and expose as little skin as possible so that you stay protected from those small little biters. It is also recommended that families spray themselves with insect repellant, especially if they plan to spend time outdoors.

And even if you can handle the discomfort that the  bites bring with them, there is another reason why all should remain protected against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes sometimes carry the West Nile Virus, which they can transmit to humans through bites. The first time that this virus was detected in New York was in 1999, which left the Health Department confused and surprised. Since then, the virus returned to New York year after year. Last year, 11 New York City residents were infected, two of whom lost their lives to the virus.

So before those wretched, disease carrying insects invade Brooklyn, prepare yourselves and follow the advice given above. Don’t give them a reason to choose you to be a part of their next meal.

Related posts

  • nolastname

    I’d like to add compost piles. If you have a cool spot under a tree make sure there is no collection of dead foliage. Mosquito Heaven.  If the storm drains on your corner do not have different colored spray painted dots then your sewer has not been treated for West Nile. 
    I am not trying to be a smart ass but can a mosquito also carry other blood born diseases? Hiv/Aids from one host to another?

    • http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/ Ned Berke

      Didn’t know about compost, but it makes sense. You’d like the NY Mag article – it talks to the guys responsible for going sewer to sewer. It’s a private contract, not city workers.

      As for HIV/AIDS – no: 
      http://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/aids.htm

      Most of the diseases that are transferable from mosquito to human are all but eradicated in the US, like malaria or dengue. The risk of West Nile is also overstated – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it saves lives – but most people IF they get it (low transmission rate) will feel little more than mild flu-like symptoms, if that.
      Now, my question is, if we can eradicte malaria, why the hell can’t we just eradicate mosquitos? Stupid little creature that has no real purpose on earth. 

      • nolastname

        I have been asking people about those dots for maybe 15 years. I was asking the wrong peps I guess. Ya’ know D.E.P. and such. I got an answer 2 years ago from a friend. It was confirmed for sure about a week ago when I saw them administering the tables in Sheepshead Bay area.
        I still wonder about mosquitoes. 
        Kill them all and let you know who sort ‘em out.

        • levp

          http://www.cals.cornell.edu/cals/grapesandwine/appellation-cornell/issue-5/ipm.cfm
          “After 30 years of existence, the New York State Integrated Pest Management (NYS IPM) program is slated to close at the end of March. This program, funded through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, is a casualty of New York State’s budget deficit and the estimated $9 billion budget gap that needs to be addressed by the legislature and governor.”

          Don’t bother writing your state legislator – he’s busy fighting either pot or gay marriage, depending on your district.

      • Andy

         eradicate mosquitoes, and a number of creatures like bats and frogs will starve to death

        • Vik

          add birds to that list

  • Whwsailboat

    Compared to other areas of the country, NYC is relatively mosquito
    free. Just try stay out doors at sunset in NJ. Good chance they will pick you
    up and drop you into Raritan Bay. Florida encloses entire houses in netting,
    and people walk around looking like bee keepers. In Georgia and the Carolinas,
    the “no-seeums” defy normal netting and become part of your food chain. Up
    north in Maine the black and green flies are tamed by shotgun. And, by the way,
    go to the beach, as it seems like a lean year for jelly fish.

    • levp

      “the black and green flies are tamed by shotgun”

      Thesis: “Role of Second Amendment in Integrated Pest Management”

  • levp

    Our neighboring state of Connecticut has a Mosquito Management Program with a very useful web site:
    http://www.ct.gov/mosquito/cwp/view.asp?a=3486&q=415084&mosquitoNav=|

    Aside from what was already reported here:

    “A number of products on the market claim to have mosquito control capabilities. In most cases, these products have not been rigorously tested and do not perform as advertised. Mechanical traps, such as ultraviolet “bug zappers” or devices that repel using ultrasonic sound waves, do not meet advertiser’s claims. In fact, bug zappers attract few mosquitoes and may actually kill beneficial insect predators. The Connecticut MMP as well as other states and the American Mosquito Control Association do not endorse the use of these products to reduce mosquito infestations. Natural products, such as citronella-scented candles and plants, clove oil, peppermint, or diet supplements like garlic or vitamins that claim to repel mosquitoes are not supported by scientific evidence. There are many individuals who feel these products are effective; however, each person has a unique metabolism and body chemistry and these products may not be equally effective for everyone.

    Natural predators, such as bats and some birds, will eat adult mosquitoes as do other types of insects such as dragonflies. However, studies have shown that mosquitoes make up a very small percentage of a bat or bird’s diet. Bats and insectivorous birds are opportunistic feeders and may consume a large quantity of mosquitoes if mosquito populations are very high. However, if adult mosquitoes are at moderate or low levels (but yet are at pestiferous levels or in numbers that could still effectively transmit disease) bats or birds will not expend the energy to chase enough mosquitoes to obtain the equivalent amount of food as say a moth or large beetle. The CT Mosquito Management Program encourages the placement of bat and bird houses for the conservation of these species but does not endorse the use of them solely for the control of mosquitoes.”

    And don’t forget to stock fish in your ponds.

    All in all, this battle humans have lost…

  • Pingback: It’s Mosquito Season! Here Are A Few Tips To Keep Yourself Bite Free – Sheepshead Bites « Abolish Pest Control Serving Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York