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Over the past several years, a new problem has cause great concern for people � the West Nile Virus. Sadly, many people have lost their lives from a simply mosquito bite. Even in May of 2004, the first case was document in the United States, proving that the predictions of this being another bad year for West Nile Virus are true. You can take a few steps to safeguard your home while still enjoying the great outdoors.

First, keep in mind that mosquitoes love water. Even a small amount of morning dew on leaves or small puddles from watering the lawn can create the perfect habitat. Since mosquitoes do not need much space to breed and eggs hatch within three days, it is important that you do what you can. Additionally, the male mosquitoes do not bite and live from 10 to 20 days. The female, the biter, lives anywhere from three to 100 days, all depending on the specific species.

To help protect your home and family, consider taking some of the following precautions:
  • Make sure there is no freestanding water in your yard. This would include buckets, broken vases, or flower beds that do not have good water run-off.

  • Keep grass clippings, mulch, and leaves discarded so the mosquito does not have opportunity to enjoy the moisture

  • Make sure your gutters are cleaned out on a regular basis

  • Be sure you put toys up so they do not sit around with rain water in or on them

  • If you have a swimming pool or garden pond, be sure any cover is void of standing water

  • While you can keep bird baths filled with water, make sure the water is changed a minimum of twice a week

  • Make the yard friendly to natural creatures that feed on mosquitoes such as birds and bats

  • If you have a garden pond, you can purchase special chemicals to help deter mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are a very determined insect. In fact, some species can migrate up to one mile. Therefore, while you keep your own yard safe, also keep eye open for problem areas in your neighborhood.
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