Mosquitoes: Eliminate Standing Water
There is a potential risk of mosquito-borne diseases in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. The Fairfax County Health Department urges residents to empty containers containing water from around their home and to use personal protection when mosquito exposure is likely.
Following the storm, there is the likelihood of more standing water around homes. The standing water resulting from the storm may initiate the hatching of large numbers of mosquitoes in coming weeks, increasing the potential for human infection from mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile virus. People who are working outdoors or do not have screens in their windows will be at increased risk of being bitten. People over 50 years of age are at increased risk for serious complications from West Nile virus.
The Health Department recommends the following tips to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:
- Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.
- Use insect repellents that contain one of the following active ingredients: picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or no more than 50 percent DEET for adults and no more than 30 percent for children. Always follow instructions when using insect repellents.
- Turn over or remove containers in your yard where water collects, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets and toys.
- Eliminate standing water on tarps or flat roofs.
- Clean out birdbaths and wading pools once a week.
- Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly.
- Repair screens on doors and windows.
- Eliminate standing water on your property when possible. For standing water that cannot be eliminated, use a mosquito larvicide to reduce the chances that mosquitoes will breed in the water. Always follow label instructions when using an insecticide.
More information can be found at: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/westnile/wnveliminate.htm