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Riley Heruska
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There are a lot of great things that accompany summer's arrival, like long sunsets and warm weather. However, there's one huge problem that always pops up once May rolls around: mosquitoes. 

In fact, Texas is reportedly in the top 20 percent of U.S. states when it comes to people getting bitten by mosquitoes and acquiring diseases. Spending your days outside in the North Texas area is a surefire way to wind up at home with red bumps on your arms and legs, and maybe even dangerous illnesses like the Zika and West Nile viruses. 

To prevent you and your family from being exposed to harmful diseases and annoying bites, here are five ways you can avoid mosquitos and keep them away from your home. 

1. Get rid of any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes love to hang out around shady or stagnant puddles and other bodies of water. If you can, make sure that the standing water gets cleaned up and that fountains, pools, and other water features are turned on and running. This will prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs on the water and gathering in the area. Remember that even an inch of still water can provide a perfect breeding ground for the insects. 

2. Keep a bottle of heavy-duty bug spray in your car and house. You never know when you'll find yourself taking a stroll down a forested path or sitting by the lakeside during a Texas summer, so it pays to be prepared and always have bug spray on hand. Permethrin-based bug sprays tend to be the most effective, especially against mosquitos, chiggers, tics, and other blood-suckers. 

3. Wear light-colored, loose clothing while you're outside. For some reason, mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors (black, dark blue, red) than they are to light colors. Also, wearing baggier clothing can leave more of your skin protected, which adds another level of protection against the bugs. 

4. Turn your porch fan on. If you want to sit outside and enjoy the weather, keep an oscillating fan on your patio so that the air is constantly moving. This will blow away some bugs and deter others from landing on your skin. 

5. Wear long pants when walking around at dusk. Mosquitoes are most active when the sun goes down because the exposure dehydrates them. Texas has 85 different kinds of mosquitoes, and almost all of them will seek out blood at dawn, dusk, or during the night. Therefore, when you're walking around as the sun sets, the mosquitoes are likely to be on the hunt. Make sure to take extra protective measures during the worst parts of the day.

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