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A contentious Farm Bill heads to U.S. House for debate. Also on our rundown: gaps cited in protections for small-business employees and nonprofit volunteers; plus power out for much of Puerto Rico; and some warning signs, that increased youth activism may not correspond to voter turnout.

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What Mosquitoes Have in Store for NY This Season

Naturalist David Mizejewski, National Wildlife Federation, said the best protection is prevention. That can come, in part, by eliminating standing pools of water around the outside of your home, he said. Courtesy of Joaquim Alves Gaspar
Naturalist David Mizejewski, National Wildlife Federation, said the best protection is prevention. That can come, in part, by eliminating standing pools of water around the outside of your home, he said. Courtesy of Joaquim Alves Gaspar
June 10, 2013

NEW YORK CITY - They represent one of the signs of spring and summer that you may prefer to do without. Mosquito season is under way in New York, and you can keep from becoming a victim by learning a little more about the buggers.

Naturalist David Mizejewski, National Wildlife Federation, said the best protection is prevention, which can be accomplished, in part, by eliminating standing pools of water around the outside of your home.

"Some species of mosquito only need like an inch of water. So water standing in the bottom of a flower pot or in clogged gutters or in children's toys that are left out in the yard, these are all potential breeding places for mosquitoes," he said.

Lines of defense against mosquitoes that can work include wearing long sleeves and long pants when possible. If you choose to go the insecticide route, those with DEET work best. And if you prefer a natural repellent, plants containing certain types of oils, such as lemon balm, can offer relief.

Mosquitoes target humans through a chemical trail people unknowingly leave in their wake, Mizejewski said.

"They sense carbon dioxide and other chemicals that our bodies emit," he explained, "through our skin or, mostly, through respiration when we exhale. That's how the female mosquitoes, which are the only ones that bite, track you down."

Nature has provided people with one more weapon to use against the mosquito, he added.

"Mosquitoes are really weak fliers," he said, "and sometimes, in a very limited area, all you really need is a strong breeze - like a large fan."

The relatively cold and wet spring the Northeast has experienced this year is giving mosquitoes a favorable climate in which to thrive, Mizejewski said.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY