All of the Splash, but None of the Bite
Texas gets more than its fair share of the hot summer weather. One tried-and-true way to cool off the kids on those relentless days when the heat index lives above 100 degrees is to bring out the kiddie pools and water table so they can splash away to their heart’s content.
However, if there is one thing that likes the water more than children, it’s mosquitoes. These bugs use any open body of water as their own personal breeding ground, so instead of bringing fun in the sun, these bugs bite. And if that weren’t bad enough, they can also carry diseases like West Nile Virus and the Zika Virus.
To help keep your kids safe and still entertained, we’ve found four tips to help your family avoid mosquitoes during the Texas summer.
1) Keep Your Pool Clean
If you have a backyard pool, chlorine will inhibit larvae growth, but it doesn’t stop them entirely. The key is to make sure the pump for your filtration system is working as this will keep the water moving and carry any larvae straight to the filter. This is crucial because mosquitoes prefer stagnant water.
If your pump breaks down, but your pool still contains water, purchase pet-safe, non-toxic products called “mosquito dunks” to keep your pool mosquito-free while you wait for the pump to be repaired.
2) Don’t Leave Standing Water in Your Yard
If you are using paddling pools or water tables for your children, it is important to empty them as soon as they are not being used. This means EVERY DAY. It may seem like a tremendous waste of water, but mosquitoes can breed in less than 1 teaspoon of water. This means any other water toys, such as jugs and cups, also need to be emptied to avoid mosquitoes.
3) Use the Right Mosquito Repellent
It is almost impossible to chase away all mosquitoes, so some form of repellent is necessary for everyone playing outside. The CDC recommends repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and lemon eucalyptus oil. Some of these repellents are not recommended for infants, so make sure you always check the label.
4) Cover Up for Safety
While some mosquitoes are particularly determined and will bite you through light clothing, covering up is another great way to protect yourself not only from bites, but also from sunburn. Lightweight and light colored clothing is ideal. Rash guards are perfect for kids and adults alike, and they won’t weight you down in the water like most clothing.