There’s been so much on the news lately about the risks of contracting the Zika virus from mosquitos. Luckily here in Boynton Beach we haven’t had any reported cases of Zika – yet! – but we definitely have mosquitos. When I’m out with friends I tend to be a mosquito magnet: I get bit, but my friends don’t!
And no matter the heat and humidity, I like to have brunch outdoors, walk my dog Puma and go shopping in downtown Delray Beach our at some of the great outdoor malls in south Florida. So I have a few tried and true tips to help me keep the mosquitos away!
5 Mosquito Tips for South Florida
1. Close the screen door and windows.
This sounds obvious, but since I adopted Puma the screen door was open all the time because he likes to go out to the balcony and look out. I went to Pet Supermarket in Boynton Beach and installed a patio doggie door: its a pop-in unit for my sliding balcony doors, and at the bottom is a doggie door! Now I can keep my glass patio door closed, and Puma can run in and out as much as he wants.
2. Use Mosquito Repellant
I’ve tried several different commercial blends, but now I’ve been buying lavender and rosemary oils at the health food store (I like Greenlands on Federal Highway in Delray Beach) to make my homemade moquito spray:
- Fill spray bottle (I used 8 ounce) 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water.
- Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top.
- Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin if using.
- Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be.
When I don’t have time to make my own buy spray, I likes Taspen’s Organics – you can buy it at the Delray GreenMarket on Saturdays.
3. Protect Your Pet
Not only do you not want your pet to get bit by mosquitos, you don’t want them bringing mosquitos into your home! Puma loves the dog park (We like Lake Ida in Delray Beach, but a new one is opening soon in Boynton Beach, I can’t wait!) and I like to take him after work or on weekends.
- Don’t go to the dog park during peak mosquito hours: dawn and dusk – yes, I know: before and after work! But mosquitos are more likely to bite people during these hours too, so its better for both of you.
- Don’t use people bug spray on your pet
- DO use pet buy spray or homemade natural bug sprays on your pet – if in doubt, ask your vet!
4. Pitch All Outside Water
Mosquitos are attracted to water and like to lay their eggs there. Puma likes to hangout on our balcony, but I can’t leave his water bowl out there during mosquito season. So be sure to dump the water out of dog bowls, watering cans, birdbaths and any other water containers you might have in your yard or patio.
5. Don’t Scratch
If you do get bit, try not to scratch because its easy for mosquito bites to become infected. If your bites are really itchy, an over the counter hydrocortisone cream works great.
If you’re concerned about the Zika virus, I’d suggest you Google: Zika virus south Florida for more information, or ask your doctor.