This holiday week, whether you’re grilling in the backyard or gathering for fireworks, there’s one pesky neighbor you shouldn’t invite to the party – the mosquito. But unless you’ve taken precautions, these nuisance insects may show up, bringing viruses along with them.
Mosquitoes can pass viruses like West Nile Virus to humans when they bite. There have been no confirmed human cases of mosquito-borne disease in the Coastal Health District so far this year, but you should protect yourself from bites anytime mosquitoes are active.
“There are a few simple things everyone can do to prevent mosquito bites,” says Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “Mosquitoes thrive and breed in standing water, so drain any containers in your yard that may be holding water like flowerpots or pool covers. And be sure to wear an insect repellent with DEET when you’re going outside.”
Observe these “Five D’s of Prevention” during outdoor activities:
Dusk/Dawn – Mosquitoes usually bite at dusk and dawn, so avoid or limit outdoor activity at these times.
Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
Drain - Empty any containers holding standing water because they are excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
More information is available at gachd.org/mosquitoes.