What Can You Do To Prevent Infection
Prevention is the key. The best way to avoid infection is to avoid getting mosquito bites. The Health Department recommends the use of the "Five D's" of prevention.
- Dress appropriately, the use of barrier clothing to prevent mosquito bites including long sleeve shirts, pants, and socks.
- Avoid outdoor activities during dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.
- If you must be outdoors, cover up by wearing shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts, and use mosquito repellent with DEET. This is a chemical that is used in a variety of commercial products and repels mosquitoes. Use in accordance with package directions (more is not necessarily better) and re-apply as needed on skin that will be exposed.
- Drain. With the return of our summer rain fall patterns, we have significant amounts of standing water. Gutters, flower pots, birdbaths, virtually any container can be the breeding ground for mosquitoes. Remove or empty water in old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, or any other containers. Make sure cisterns, cesspools, septic tanks, fire barrels, rain barrels and trash containers are covered tightly with a lid or with 16-mesh screen
What You Can Do To Help
The Mosquito that bit you last night may have hatched right in your own backyard!
- Look for places where rainwater collects and stands. Mosquitoes also hide in heavy grasses or other vegetation.
- Check items such as flower pots, children's wading pools and toys, birdbaths and fountains, clogged gutters and drains, cans and bottles, old car tires, fish ponds and rain barrels, boats and other water craft, plants and tree holes that hold water.
- Get rid of any junk you don't need. Cover items you need to prevent water from collecting. Items that can't be covered should be flushed or drained TWICE WEEKLY to prevent mosquitoes from hatching. An adult mosquito, under ideal conditions, can emerge from an egg within 6 days.
- Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use.
- Change the water in bird baths and plant pots or drip trays at lease once each week.
- Store boats covered or upside down, or remove rainwater weekly.
- Level the ground around your home so water can run off and not collect in low spots. Fill in holes or depressions near your home that accumulate water.
- If you have an ornamental water garden, stock it with mosquito-eating fish (e.g.,minnows, "mosquitofish", goldfish or guppies)
- Repair screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.
- Unused swimming pools need to be maintained with chlorine and circulation or else treated to prevent mosquito breeding.
- Gambusia minnows can be released into larger, more permanent bodies of water. These fish are mosquito predators which eat the mosquito larvae. This provides an environmentally sensible way to control mosquito breeding naturally without endangering people, pets, or wildlife.
For information concerning Mosquito Control in Holmes County, please contact the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners at 850-547-1119.