West Nile Virus, the disease transported by infected mosquitos, continues to remain a threat to the American populace. Already this year, California has recorded over 200 cases resulting in the deaths of five of her residents. With August and September being peak months for this ailment, people across the country are being encouraged to take the necessary steps to protect themselves. Please read on for four helpful tips.
1. Destroy Potential Breeding Sites. Standing water is an invitation for mosquitoes to “set up home” in your yard. If you have a birdbath, bucket, or any other container in your yard make sure that it is free of water, otherwise it becomes a welcome mat for mosquitoes to hatch their larvae. You don’t want to get rid of your birdbath? Install a device to keep the water moving [such as a fountain] and the mosquitoes will not set up home.
2. Wear Repellent. DEET and Permithin are proven repellants for mosquitoes; products containing these ingredients are sold by most retailers. The Centers for Disease Control [CDC] is also reporting that repellents containing picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus have been found to provide reliable and long-lasting protection from mosquito bites.
3. Home Maintenance. If your home has screens, examine them for tears that permit mosquitoes to enter your house. Install screens if you do not have them and you want to keep your windows open.
4. Spray, Spray, Spray. Not everyone likes the idea of pesticides being sprayed in their neighborhoods, but it has become a necessity in some communities where the mosquito population is out of control. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency web site for information on various spraying programs available.
West Nile Virus remains a scourge, but it need not affect your outdoor plans completely. Peak mosquito activity is in the early morning as well as in the evening; wear long sleeve shirts and pants to lessen the opportunity of attracting mosquitoes to your yummy skin.