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To protect, promote and improve the health of our community
Mosquitoes often carry diseases that can be passed on to people, including West Nile virus (WNV), a potentially serious illness. Approximately 80% of people who get infected with West Nile virus do not have any symptoms at all. However, a small number (about 1 in 150) will develop a severe illness, called West Nile Encephalitis. The best way to protect yourself and your family from WNV is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
- Reduce breeding sites – Mosquitoes breed around standing water. Make sure to reduce or eliminate standing water around your home. Standing water can be found in buckets, trash cans, bird baths, ditches or rain gutters. Change the water in bird baths and wading pools at least once a week, and keep swimming pools cleaned and chlorinated.
- Control larva – Use a mosquito larvicide around standing water when standing water is necessary. Larvicides are insecticides which are used to control immature mosquitoes before they have a chance to develop into biting adults.
- Control adult mosquitoes – Remove tall weeds and overgrowth because mosquitoes can be found resting in protected areas during the day. Also, insecticides can be applied to lower limbs of shade trees, shrubs, and other shaded areas (under decks and along foundations).
- Exclusion – Keep mosquitoes out of your house by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly sealed and repairing insect screens.
Protecting Yourself from Mosquito Bites
- Mosquitoes are most active during the evening. Stay inside at dusk and during evening hours to reduce your risk of being bitten.
- Limit exposed skin by wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants.
- Mosquito repellents applied to the skin will help prevent bites when spending time outside. The most effective mosquito repellents contain the active ingredient diethyl toluamide (DEET). The higher the DEET percentage in the repellent, the longer the protection lasts.Low percentage formulas can be used on young children.
For more information about mosquitoes, click here to visit the UK College of Agriculture.
For more information about West Nile Virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control.
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