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.