Summer is here, so it’s time to start thinking about mosquitoes. It’s so important for you to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus infection, St. Louis encephalitis, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
Once a person is infected, they may have mild symptoms which include headache, fever, dizziness, and fatigue, but other severe symptoms are also possible. Mosquito-borne diseases can cause serious illnesses and sometimes death in people of any age, but children and those over 50 are at greatest risk for severe reactions and disease.
Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent disease. Please remember the 5 D’s:
· Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood.
· Dress – Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
· DEET – When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing up to 30 percent DEET are recommended. Oil of lemon eucalyptus can also be effective.
· Drainage – Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, where mosquitoes lay eggs.
Tips on Repellent Use
· Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before applying a repellent.
· In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is appropriate. DEET is not recommended on children younger than 2 months old. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children less than 3 years old.
· Infants should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used over carriers and strollers when outside.
· Never apply repellents to a child’s hands. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
· Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or onto clothing, but not under clothing. Do not apply repellent near the eyes or mouth, cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites
· Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
· Turn over or remove any empty containers (cups, pots, buckets, etc.).
· Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.
· Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.
Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.