In observance of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, June 23 to June 29, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)® is bringing attention to the importance of eliminating the growing threat of mosquitoes that are spreading West Nile virus across the nation.
Last year was the worst ever for West Nile virus deaths with 286 deaths, according to U.S. health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accurately predicted that weather conditions favorable for the breeding of the mosquitoes would result in a high number of West Nile cases in 2012.
“When environmental factors increase the threat of mosquitoes, each of us needs to take steps to proactively protect our family and community,” said Karen Reardon, vice president of public affairs for RISE. “Inspecting your yard and taking simple measures now will help control mosquito populations throughout the season.”
RISE created the following checklist to help homeowners prevent and manage mosquitoes this summer:
- Put up personal barriers. Wear light-colored clothing and cover up with long sleeves and pants, especially during dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active.
- Apply mosquito-specific defenses. Be sure to apply insect repellent on exposed skin – like DEET – to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites.
- Reduce the population. Eliminate sources of standing water, such as old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, clogged rain gutters, birdbaths, pet bowls, flowerpot saucers, and plastic wading pools, which attract mosquitoes and allow them to breed.
- Maintain your lawn. Fill in or drain low places in your yard (e.g., puddles, ruts, hollow stumps), and keep grass cut short and shrubbery well-trimmed to eliminate harborage for mosquitoes and other potentially harmful pests. When necessary, treat your yard with EPA-approved mosquito control products.
- Protect your home. Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater, repair leaky pipes and faucets inside and out, and make sure window and door screens are intact to prevent mosquitoes from coming into the house.