TYLER (KYTX) - There's nothing like a swarm of mosquitoes to ruin a 4th of July barbecue.
Fortunately, those with the Northeast Texas Public Health District say we shouldn't have as many this year thanks to the dry weather and cooler temperatures, but don't be fooled. They'll still come out as it starts to warm up.
Tonya Rocco isn't tied down to any 4th of July activities with her four little ones.
"We're kind of last-minute planners." she says.
But one thing is for sure...
"We'll be outdoors."
And, so will the mosquitoes.
"Don't be tricked by the cool temperatures." says Brenda Elrod.
She is director of environmental health at the Northeast Texas Public Health District.
"It's nice that it's cooler, but the mosquitoes are still going to be out. Anytime there's warm weather and people outside, there's a possibility you're going to get bit by a mosquito."
Unfortunately, if you're going to be outdoors, there's really nowhere for you to hide from mosquitoes. As long as you're breathing, they'll find you.
"They're attracted to the CO2 we blow off whenever we breathe. That's what brings them to you."
Elrod says strong scents can help confuse mosquitoes hovering around your backyard.
"The citronella is a good idea. Some plants give off a pungent odor."
Circulation also helps.
"If you've got an outdoor fan, that's a good idea because it'll blow them away from you." she says.
Elrod says you'll also want to rinse out any standing water around your home before you start celebrating.
"That'll make it a lot more enjoyable for your guests."
"Yes, much better. And then, maybe go help your neighbor." she says.
If you think you don't have water around your home, you may want to double check. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in just a cap-full of water.
If you plan on watching fireworks tonight, you'll definitely want to make sure your family is protected. Mosquitoes are most likely to be out in the mornings and evenings.