GREENVILLE, N.C. – It is finally summer and many of us will be engaging in fun outdoor activities. Although our focus has been on the COVID-19 pandemic for over the past year, we still need to be vigilant to other public health concerns, such as mosquito control. Mosquitoes are out, breeding, and biting!
June 20—June 26, 2021, is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week and the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has tips to help you avoid the bites from these vicious blood-suckers.
Standing water, bare skin, and dark clothing are three things that attract mosquitoes. AMCA recommends people follow the three D’s to keep mosquitoes away:
● Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week
● Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
● Defend: Properly apply an EPA-registered repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR 3535, or oil of lemon-eucalyptus
Reduce sites on your property where mosquitoes may develop by eliminating containers that may hold water, such as disposing of any tires – water in tires can allow thousands of mosquitoes to breed; drilling holes in the bottom of recycling containers; clearing roof gutters of debris; cleaning pet water dishes regularly; checking and emptying children’s toys, and changing the water in birdbaths at least once a week.
Unused, non-chlorinated, stagnant pools can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. A Pitt County Environmental Health Representative can visit your home (if you reside in Pitt County) and test your unused, non-chlorinated pool for mosquito activity. This includes in-ground and above-ground swimming pools. Please call 252-902-3210 to schedule an appointment.
Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. Their bites can spread diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus. There are no vaccines for the various diseases mosquitoes may carry.
AMCA stresses mosquito-borne diseases do not only affect humans – but they also kill countless birds, reptiles, dogs, horses, and endangered species each year. Awareness of these diseases –including canine heartworm, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and Western Equine Encephalitis – is another important component of mosquito control the general public must embrace.