Warm weather and standing water add up to mosquitoes and potential exposure to the West Nile Virus. With a few precautions you can protect yourself from this dangerous disease and help reduce the mosquito population.
West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay eggs in still water; the eggs hatch in seven to ten days. If standing water is eliminated, many mosquitoes will be kept from breeding in the first place, eliminating the need to use pesticides against adult mosquitoes. This also reduces the number of mosquitoes in and around the home.
The following tips will help reduce your risk:
- Drain all standing water on your property, no matter how small the amount. Common places are clogged rain gutters, flower pot saucers, tires, toys, wheelbarrows, hubcaps, garden equipment, pool covers, tarps ,plastic sheeting, pipes, drains, boats, canoes, and trash. Drill holes in tire swings.
- Completely change water in birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
- Use a chemical in ponds and fountains to kill mosquito larvae. Many home and garden centers carry chemicals that do not harm fish.
- Limit your outside activity around dawn and dusk.
- Wear protective clothing such as light weight pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.
- Apply insect repellent that contains DEET. Follow directions carefully.
- Install or repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.