Preventing Mosquito Bites

Preventing Mosquito Bites

County health officials say it is unwise to overreact to the West Nile Virus or malaria situation by using and abusing pesticides and insect repellents, since exposure to these chemicals can be more hazardous than insect bites, which are generally not harmful.

* Make sure window and door screens are "bug tight." Repair or replace screens wherever necessary.

* Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening when most mosquitoes are active.

* Replace outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights.

* Wear light-colored clothing while working outdoors between dusk and dawn.

* Avoid heavy perfumes.

* Limit outdoor activities after dusk as skin temperature and sweat are both mosquito attractants.

* Plant-derived repellents, like citronella candles, garlic, rosemary, and mint, provide safe, short-term protection, perhaps less than two hours.

* Wear headnets, long sleeve shirts, and long pants if venturing into areas with high mosquito populations, such as salt marshes or wooded areas.

* Use mosquito repellents containing DEET sparingly, and apply only to clothing. Read and carefully follow the manufacturer's directions for use.

* Insect repellents should not be applied to very young children, three years or younger.

* Do not spray repellents or any other pesticides around food or children.


Stop Mosquitoes from Breeding

* Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed: discard used tires, clean roof gutters and down-spout screens,

* Eliminate standing water on flat roofs,

* Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows, canoes and garbage can lids; fix dripping water faucets

* Eliminate puddles from window air-conditioners

* Flush birdbaths and the bottom trays of potted plants twice a week.

* Asian Tiger mosquitoes are backyard container mosquitoes. Remove any standing water. Asian Tiger mosquitoes fly no more than 300 yards from the containers where they are hatched so the most effective method for controlling them is to remove or drain all containers where they can breed.