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Green Tips to Guard Your Kids From Mosquitoes

September 23, 2012 7:41 pm
Written by: Odile Fredericks

Gorgeous fall weather is here, but if you've been outdoors, you know mosquitoes are still biting as ferociously as in the summer. With mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile virus, making headlines, I've been wondering about the best way to keep those blood-sucking bugs away from kids without absorbing chemicals that are in some repellents.

Toxic Free North Carolina, an environmental group that works to educate North Carolinians about the dangers of pesticides, offers some practical suggestions and surprising facts in Mosquito Management in Child Care, an article by Mike Waldvogel, an extension specialist and associate professor at NC State University.

Although many parents are worried about their children catching the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus, Waldvogel reveals in the article that West Nile Virus is not as common in North Carolina as it is in other states. However, mosquitoes in North Carolina carry two kinds of encephalitis, so protection is vital.

First, if you want to control mosquitoes, get rid of standing water, which is where they tend to breed, Waldvogel says. Empty standing water in the following places regularly:

•  Bird baths (just flush out the old water with a hose).
•  Old cans and tires – tip and toss.
•  Outdoor flower pots and watering cans – empty the water from the dishes/trays underneath them.
•  Clean out your gutters – the water and decaying matter both attract mosquitoes.
•  Rain barrels – make sure they're screened to keep out mosquitoes.
•  Kids pools
•  Playground toys like shovels, buckets and trucks

Second, discourage your kids from playing outdoors 30 minutes before and after dawn and dusk as mosquitoes are most active during these times, he says.

Third, cover up with long-sleeve shirts and pants, when you can. If it's too hot to wear long sleeves, use repellents on exposed skin when outside.

For more tips on the best way to apply repellents and the least-toxic repellents, view the article, adapted with permission by Kate Watkins for Toxic Free NC.



Gorgeous fall weather is here, but if you've been outdoors, you know mosquitoes are still biting as ferociously as in the summer. With mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile virus, making headlines, I've been wondering about the best way to keep those blood-sucking bugs away from kids without absorbing chemicals that are in some repellents.

Toxic Free North Carolina, an environmental group that works to educate North Carolinians about the dangers of pesticides, offers some practical suggestions and surprising facts in Mosquito Management in Child Care, an article by Mike Waldvogel, an extension specialist and associate professor at NC State University.

Although many parents are worried about their children catching the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus, Waldvogel reveals in the article that West Nile Virus is not as common in North Carolina as it is in other states. However, mosquitoes in North Carolina carry two kinds of encephalitis, so protection is vital.

First, if you want to control mosquitoes, get rid of standing water, which is where they tend to breed, Waldvogel says. Empty standing water in the following places regularly:

•  Bird baths (just flush out the old water with a hose).
•  Old cans and tires – tip and toss.
•  Outdoor flower pots and watering cans – empty the water from the dishes/trays underneath them.
•  Clean out your gutters – the water and decaying matter both attract mosquitoes.
•  Rain barrels – make sure they're screened to keep out mosquitoes.
•  Kids pools
•  Playground toys like shovels, buckets and trucks

Second, discourage your kids from playing outdoors 30 minutes before and after dawn and dusk as mosquitoes are most active during these times, he says.

Third, cover up with long-sleeve shirts and pants, when you can. If it's too hot to wear long sleeves, use repellents on exposed skin when outside.

For more tips on the best way to apply repellents and the least-toxic repellents, view the article, adapted with permission by Kate Watkins for Toxic Free NC.


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