MEMPHIS, Tenn.To recognize National Mosquito Awareness Week (June 21-27), Terminix shared information to help homeowners ward off mosquitoes and the serious diseases they can transmit, such as West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis, and, globally, Zika, malaria and dengue.

With travel and vacation on hold for millions across the country this summer, outdoor living spaces have become a place for families to escape. So, keeping them comfortable and pest-free is more important than ever.

“Protecting homes and families is at the heart of everything we do,” said Kim Scott, president of Terminix Residential. “For the last several months, our homes have also served as our offices and our schools. As Summer begins, backyards are becoming staycation spots for many families. We want to protect those outdoor spaces and the special moments that bring our customers joy, so they can focus on what matters most.”

Understanding misconceptions about mosquitoes, such as what attracts them and how to effectively keep them away from homes and yards, is critical to keeping families safe and backyards protected this summer.

Mosquito Myths

Myth 1: Mosquitoes need a lot of water to breed.
Truth: Mosquitoes can breed in a very small amount of stagnant water, such as standing water in buckets, bird baths, tires, tarps, flowerpots and trash can lids. Rid your yard of these water sources every three to five days to help control the mosquito population. Check for standing water often as mosquitoes can lay thousands of eggs in just a couple of weeks. Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. So, by eliminating their water source, you eliminate their offspring.

Myth 2: Mosquitoes aren’t that dangerous.
Truth: Mosquitoes are considered the deadliest animal on earth, spreading diseases such as malaria, Zika and West Nile virus to people across the globe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that mosquitoes kill more people than any other creature in the world.

Myth 3: Mosquitoes are only dangerous to humans.
Truth: Mosquitoes can bite and spread diseases to animals,
including your pets. Mosquito-borne diseases kill countless birds, reptiles, dogs, horses and endangered species each year. Mosquito bites can cause canine heartworm, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Western Equine Encephalitis in animals.

Myth 4: Do-it-yourself (DIY) mosquito control techniques are good enough.
Truth: DIY Methods might help you temporarily get rid of adult mosquitoes, but they won’t help with the thousands of eggs that could be ready to hatch at any moment. What’s more, there is little scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of citronella candles, dryer sheets, ultrasonic devices and other DIY methods. Bug zappers may eliminate some mosquitoes; however, the light itself can actually attract even more mosquitoes, thereby increasing the population in your yard.

Myth 5: It’s not a “bad year” for mosquitoes so I don’t need to worry about them in my yard.
Truth: This year in particular Americans are spending more time at home and outdoors in an effort to social distance. Patios, porches, decks and rooftops are all excellent places for families 
and mosquitoes to gather. Mosquitoes effect populations that live in temperatures above 50 degrees, meaning they’re a nuisance across the globe, but they especially effect coastal zones and areas with hot, humid climates. When you take steps to control the mosquito population in your yard, you’re doing your part to help protect your family, neighborhood and community.