Mosquitoes and Ticks
Always a nuisance, mosquitoes can also be a public health threat. Viruses such as Zika, West Nile, Dengue fever, and Chikungunya and other disease are transmitted to peoples’ blood streams through mosquito bites.
You can protect yourself and family from mosquitoes, while also contributing to your community’s overall mosquito population control. An important step is understanding the difference in mosquitoes that can transmit different diseases.
- Aedes mosquitoes, which carry the Zika virus and Chikungunya, are urban dwellers. They like to live indoors or near structures, and they bite all day. They often will travel less than a quarter-mile in their lifetime.
- Other mosquito species that carry the West Nile Virus fly farther and are typically active in the dawn and dusk hours of the day.
Public health mosquito control is EPA-approved and takes an integrated mosquito control approach to help reduce mosquitoes’ habitat and determine the most effective treatment throughout the mosquito life cycle to keep our families and communities safe. Integrated mosquito control uses a variety of tools and methods, including:
- Monitoring populations through surveillance programs
- Reducing the places mosquitoes breed
- Treating mosquitoes with pesticides in the larval stage before they fly
- Treating adult mosquitoes to reduce existing population
- Don’t let recent outbreaks and emerging threats of mosquito-borne diseases deter you from spending time outdoors. Becoming familiar with and taking steps to prevent the viruses below can help protect you and your family.
You can protect yourself and family from mosquitoes, while also contributing to your community’s overall mosquito population control.
Put up personal barriers. Wear light-colored clothing and cover up with long sleeves and pants. While many mosquitoes are particularly active during dawn and dusk hours, Aedes mosquitoes that can transmit the Zika virus, bite all day long.
Maintain your habitat. Mosquitoes will fly through the smallest openings to enter your home. Make sure window and door screens are intact and repair leaky faucets inside and out.
Apply defenses. Apply EPA-approved insect repellent such as DEET, on exposed skin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a variety of safe and effective EPA-approved insect repellents for you and your family. Read the label directions on EPA-approved insect repellents before applying it to your skin.
Eliminate sources of standing water. This includes old tires, cans, buckets, bottles, clogged rain gutters, birdbaths, pet bowls, flowerpot saucers, and plastic wading pools, which attract mosquitoes and allow them to breed. Aedes mosquitoes can breed in containers as small as a bottle cap.