Oakland County Health Division advises residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites as summer-like temperatures approach. An increase in the number of mosquitoes and exposure to mosquito-borne diseases are linked with warmer temperatures and more time spent outdoors.
"The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to avoid being bitten," said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County Health Division. "Following prevention tips to protect against mosquito bites can reduce residents' risk of diseases like West Nile virus."
Follow these tips to protect you and your family from mosquito bites:
-Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water around your home:
- Turn over any type of container that can collect water. Once a week, empty out items that hold water such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, pet bowls, flowerpots, and trash containers.
- Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains.
- Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated, such as retention ponds or drainage ditches, with a mosquito larvicide. Mosquito larvicide is easy to use and can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
-Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellant. All EPA-registered insect repellants are evaluated for safety and effectiveness, and will contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol as the active ingredient. Repellents containing a higher percentage of the active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection. Always follow the product label instructions.
-Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
-Avoid outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active, especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn, and early morning.
-Maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of homes and buildings. Do not prop open doors.
Mosquitoes can carry and spread several diseases, such as West Nile virus and Zika virus. There are no vaccines for these viruses. The only protection is preventing mosquito bites, so anyone spending time outdoors during the summer months should take the appropriate precautions.
For additional information regarding mosquito-borne diseases, visit www.oakgov.com/health or find Public Health Oakland on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter @publichealthOC.
Published: Wed, Jun 14, 2017