Mosquitoes, Zika, and You!
Researched and written by: Bill B., Member: Orange County Amateur Radio Emergency Service and Palm Cove Estates Resident
There has been a lot in the news lately regarding the Zika virus. The science on the effects of this virus is still unfolding, but limiting the number of mosquitoes and protecting yourself from their bite is still a very good idea since they can carry other diseases besides Zika. If you are like me, mosquito bites are very irritating. I react strongly to them. I thought I would summarize a few ideas on limiting the number of mosquitoes in your yard and measures to avoid bites. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Mosquitoes breed by laying eggs in and near standing water.
As little as one teaspoon or bottle cap of water standing for more than one week is enough for mosquitoes to breed and multiply.
Put away items that are outside and not being used because they could hold standing water.
Keep flowerpots and saucers free of standing water. Some plants, such as bromeliads, hold water in their leaves—flush out water-holding plants with a hose once a week.
That reduces the number of mosquitoes, but there are ways to protect you from being bitten by the many mosquitoes that are still around.
Cover up by wearing long pants and shirts during the hours when mosquitoes are likely to be present.
Wear an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellent.
Always follow the product label instructions.
Do not spray repellent on skin under clothing.
If you use sunscreen, put sunscreen on first and insect repellent second.
It is safe for pregnant or nursing women to use EPA-approved repellents if applied according to package label instructions.
Learn more: www2.epa.gov/insect-repellents.
OK, that covers the adults, but what about the children? Always follow product instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
Do not apply insect repellent to a child’s hands, mouth, cut or irritated skin.
Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months.
Dress babies or small children in clothing that covers arms and legs.
Cover cribs, strollers or baby carriers with mosquito netting.
Keeping screens in good repair and keeping unscreened windows and doors closed helps keep the pests out of the house. As nice as our weather has been lately, closing up the house and using A/C is even better.
The info graphic below is available for download.