Protect Yourself from West Nile

PERSONAL PROTECTION; CLOTHING AND AROMATICS

  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes to help prevent mosquitoes from reaching the skin and to retain less heat, making yourself less "attractive" to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors.
  • When possible, wear long sleeves and long pants.
  • Avoid perfumes, colognes, fragrant hair sprays, lotions and soaps, which attract mosquitoes.

PERSONAL PROTECTION; REPELLENTS

  • Follow the label instructions when applying repellents. Permethrin repellents are only for clothes - not for application on the skin.
  • When using repellents avoid contact with eyes, lips and nasal membranes.
  • Use concentrations of less than 10 percent when applying DEET-containing products on children.
  • Apply DEET repellent on arms, legs, and other exposed areas, but never under clothing.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
  • Citronella candles and repellents containing citronella can help, but their range is limited.
  • Herbals such as cedar, geranium, pennyroyal, lavender, cinnamon, and garlic are not very effective.

PERSONAL PROTECTION; AROUND THE HOME

  • Mosquito activity peaks at dusk and again at dawn; restrict outdoor activity during these hours.
  • Keep windows and door screens in good condition.
  • Replace porch lights with yellow light bulbs that will attract fewer insects.
  • Mosquitoes breed in standing water; empty all water from old tires, cans, jars, buckets, drums, plastic wading pools, toys, and other containers.
  • Clean clogged gutters.
  • Remove the rim from potted plants and replace water in plant/flower vases weekly.
  • Replenish pet watering dishes daily and rinse bird baths twice weekly.
  • Fill tree holes and depressions left by fallen trees with dirt or sand.

• Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito fish or use larvicide "doughnuts."

Courtesy: Alabama Department of Public Health