Personal Protection Starts with You!
Many mosquito problems in your neighborhood are likely to come from water-filled containers that you can help to eliminate. All mosquitoes require water in which to breed. Be sure to drain any standing water around your house.
Dispose of old tires; tires can breed thousands of mosquitoes. Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers. Clear roof gutters of debris. Clean pet water dishes regularly. Check and empty children’s toys. Repair leaky outdoor faucets. Change the water in bird baths every few days. Canoes and other boats should be turned over. Avoid water collecting on pool covers. Empty water collected in tarps around the yard or on woodpiles. Plug tree holes.
Even the smallest of containers that can collect water can breed hundreds to thousands of mosquitoes. They don’t need much water to lay their eggs. (bottles, barrels, buckets, overturned garbage can lids, etc.)
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Some of the 176 mosquito species are attracted to dark clothing and some can bite through tight-fitting clothes. When practical, wear long sleeves and pants.
Choose a mosquito repellent that has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Registered products have been reviewed, approved, and pose minimal risk for human safety when used according to label directions. Three repellents that are approved and recommended are:DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), Picaridin (KBR 3023), and oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-methane 3,8-diol, or PMD)
Here are some rules to follow when using repellents:
-Read the directions on the label carefully before applying.
-Apply repellent sparingly, only to exposed skin (not on clothing).
-Keep repellents away from eyes, nostrils and lips: do not inhale or ingest repellents or get them into the eyes.
-The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that DEET-based repellents can be used on children as young as two months of age. Generally, the AAP recommends concentrations of 30% or less.
-Avoid applying repellents to portions of children’s hands that are likely to have contact with eyes or mouth.
-Pregnant and nursing women should minimize use of repellents.
-Never use repellents on wounds or irritated skin.
-Use repellent sparingly and reapply as needed. Saturation does not increase efficacy.
-Wash repellent-treated skin after coming indoors.
-If a suspected reaction to insect repellents occurs, wash treated skin, and call a physician. Take the repellent container to the physician.