Mosquito Borne Illness Prevention

This is the time of year when risk of exposure to EEE and West Nile Virus increase. These diseases can be carried by mosquitos. Below are some suggestions of how to enhance your protection during this season.

  1. Eliminate standing water and other mosquito breeding locations around your property. Please do not attempt to drain or alter natural waterbodies for mosquito control, since the management of ponds and wetlands is regulated by the Department of Environmental Services and any planned alterations will require a permit before work may begin. In warm weather, mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts more than 4 days!
  2. Remove old tires from your property.
  3. Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or other containers. Don’t overlook containers that have become overgrown by aquatic vegetation.
  4. Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outside.
  5. Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.
  6. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and hot tubs. If not in use, keep empty and covered and keep covers free of standing water.
  7. Aerate garden ponds or stock them with fish.
  8. Turn over wheelbarrows and change water in birdbaths at least twice weekly.
  9. Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use.
  10. Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their properties.
  11. Be aware of where mosquitoes live and breed and keep them from entering your home.
  12. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Weeds, tall grass, and bushes provide an outdoor home for adult mosquitoes, including several species commonly associated with West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
  13. Mosquitoes can enter homes through unscreened windows or doors or broken screens. Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace all screens in your home that have tears or holes.
  14. Resting mosquitoes can often be flushed from indoor resting sites by using sweeping motions under beds, behind bedside tables etc. and once in flight, exterminated prior to sleeping at night.
  15. Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
  16. If outside during evening, nighttime, and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, children and adults should wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks.
  17. Consider the use of an effective insect repellent, such as one containing DEET. A repellent containing 30% or less DEET (N,N-diethyl-methyl-meta-toluamide) for children and adults. Use DEET according to the manufacturer's directions. Children should not apply DEET to themselves. Repellents that contain Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 have also been determined to be effective. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3.
  18. Vitamin B, ultrasonic devices, incense, and bug zappers have not been shown to be effective in preventing mosquito bites.