Many of us don’t imagine getting the West Nile virus, especially because mosquitoes are are a regular part of living in the south. However, there are effective ways to protect yourself and your family, and everyone should be doing their part. Just as you would wash your hands and cover your mouth to prevent the spread of germs while having a cold, there are preventative measures you can take to avoid the West Nile virus. While the best thing to do is try to avoid getting bit altogether, we know this can be extremely difficult in the south, and it takes more diligence than just spraying on your favorite bug spray. Let’s take a look at the best way to prevent these itchy bug bites and your risk of the West Nile virus.
The Correct Use of Insect Repellents
Any time you step outdoors, you run the risk of getting bitten by a mosquito. If you’re going to be outside for any length of time, apply insect repellent to the exposed skin and spray your clothes with an EPA-registered repellent. Most EPA-registered repellents have an agent called permethrin in them that prevent mosquitoes from biting through the clothing. However, you should never place these repellents directly on the skin. Also never spray repellent underneath your clothes. When choosing bug sprays, don’t think that just because the spray has a higher percentage of the active ingredient means that it’s stronger. Instead, it means that the repellent will last longer. With this in mind, select a product that will provide you with enough protection for the time you’ll be outdoors. If the weather is cool enough, wear long sleeves or pants, and always place bug nets on infant carriers and strollers. Dawn, dusk and early evening are when mosquitoes bite the most, so exercise extra caution when out during these times.
Preventing the Spread of Mosquitoes
Not only should you avoid getting bit by a mosquito, but also you should prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Since mosquitoes like standing water, draining sources that collect water will prevent them from laying eggs. Look for standing water in flower pots, buckets, barrels, cans, water dishes, bird baths and swimming pools. Clean out clogged gutters and remove items lying in the yard that could collect water, such as old tires or wood logs. Even trash items that blow under your bushes can collect water, so do a regular sweep of the yard and look for recyclable containers and plastic bags that may have blown over from a neighbor’s yard.
Place Tight Fitting Screens on Windows and Doors
You may be careful to avoid mosquito bites when you’re outdoors, but we often forget about bug control when we’re indoors. Be sure that you have well-fitted screens on both your doors and windows. These tiny insects can easily get through screens that have holes or are loosely positioned onto doors and windows, coming into the home and serving as a potential threat for West Nile. Having adequate screens also provides additional perks, such as keeping dirt and standing water out of the windows. If you feel that your mosquito problem is severe, don’t hesitate to call a professional pest control company. Dugas Pest Control has their own unique mosquito control system that will rid these stubborn insects from your work or outdoor space – for good.
Image c/o: umaa.org