Summer showers increase need to protect against mosquitoes

Summer showers increase need to protect against mosquitoes

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Southern United States shows a substantial increase in the number of counties that reported evidence of the mosquitoes that can spread chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses, according to new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The mosquito population is hard to control, and they often develop resistance to insecticides making the containment and elimination of mosquito-borne diseases difficult. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, more than 1 million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year.

Mosquito-Borne Disease Cases in Alabama From 01-01-2017 - 07-13-2017 (Alabama Department of Public Health)
Eastern equine encephalitis
Lacrosse encephalitis
St. Louis encephalitis
West Nile Virus
Yellow Fever
The ADPH offers these tips to Avoid the Bite
•Wear long sleeves and long pants when possible.
•Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes to retain less heat, making you less attractive to mosquitoes.
•Spray clothing with repellents containing premethrin or DEET (diethyl toluamide).
•Apply insect repellent sparingly on skin, avoiding the eyes, lips and nasal membranes.
•Always follow label instructions when applying repellents.
•Visit Repellent Use and Safety for the CDC's guidelines for repellent use.
•Prevent mosquitoes from entering your home by keeping window and door screens in good repair.
•Eliminate breeding sites before mosquitoes become a problem.

Alabama Cooperative Extension System offers these tips for Mosquito Proofing Your Home:
For homeowners, the most effective method of controlling mosquitoes is eliminating standing water where mosquitoes can breed, thus reducing the availability of water suitable for larval and pupal growth.

Examine your home and neighborhood, and take the following precautions:
• Dispose of water holders, such as automobile tires, tin cans, glass bottles, etc.
• Clean clogged roof gutters and drain flat roofs.
• Flush your sump-pump pit weekly.
• Stock ornamental pools with mosquito-larvae-eating fish (Gambusia).
• Change the water in birdbaths, fountains, and troughs at least twice a week.
• Use plants that attract other insects such as dragonflies (nymphs) and certain aquatic beetles that feed on mosquito larvae.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and empty them when not regularly used.
• Drain standing water and turn over unused wading pools and other containers that collect rainwater.
• Cover containers used to store rainwater for garden use tightly; use window screen or plastic during drought periods.
• Remove or treat sewage leaks and lagoons.
• Remove or treat natural containers such as bamboo stumps, rot holes of trees, etc.

Use the following measures to keep mosquitoes out of your home:
• Install 16-to-18 mesh window and door screens.
• Repair broken screens on windows, doors, and porches.
• Caulk cracks and crevices where insects can enter.
• Remove tall weeds and overgrowth where mosquitoes prefer to rest.

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