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Tips for getting the skeeters before they get you

Wednesday - 5/30/2012, 6:53am  ET

mosquitoeggs.jpg
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, so draining items like bird baths can help prevent their spread. (Courtesy Fairfax County government)

WASHINGTON - The unofficial start of summer is under way, and it's time to face your enemy: the mosquito.

Fox News has some helpful tips for keeping the blood-sucking insects at bay. For starters, standing water around your yard is a paradise for mosquitoes -- they lay their eggs on the water's surface.

Public health officials advise watching for clogged drains, bird baths and other areas water can collect.

If draining water doesn't work and you still have a problem, it's time for the big guns. Get a professional to install a mosquito misting system that delivers insecticide around your property.

There are natural options, too. Citronella candles, catnip or rosemary all can repel mosquitoes.

And, of course, "There's an app for that." Both iPhone and Android devices have applications that play an ultrasonic sound to ward off skeeters.

But be careful: It works on cats and dogs as well.

WTOP's David Burd contributed to this report. Follow David and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)