2017-07-13 / Front Page

CDC, health department offer tips on controlling mosquito population

The community should be on high alert as mosquitos of every size and variety have emerged from the woodwork to embrace summer, carrying with them diseases such as West Nile, Malaria, and even the obscure Zika virus, in their tirade against mankind.

For the health and general-well being of the public the Lincoln County Health Department has outlined the best tactics and treat­ments to combat mosquitos and their after-effects.

According to Lincoln County Nurse Manager Hilary Daniel, there are two general types of mosquitos in Georgia. There are those that carry West Nile and malaria, mak­ing appearances during the evening time, and there are those that can carry Zika, Dengue, and Chickun­gunya that tend to flit about during daytime hours. This makes protect­ing against mosquitos important at all hours of the day, not during evenings alone.

Naturally, the health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest using plenty of repellents throughout the summer season. “Products contain­ing DEET are everywhere this time of year. It’s the mostly widely used repellent on the market and is easy to find – it’.s .everywhere .from .dol­lar stores to hardware stores to gas stations,” Daniel said. “Use products containing at least 20 percent DEET for maximum protection, and much like sunscreen, application and reap­plication is important. Reapplying every two hours while outside is necessary to protect yourself.”

Other effective repellents rec­ognized by the CDC incorporate picaridin, which is either lemon or eucalyptus oil, and IR3535.

“Of course, we have to take extra precaution when it comes to infants and children,” Daniel continued. “Always apply mosquito repellent with your hands, avoiding open areas, and never spray directly onto a child’s skin.

“Cover babies and children in clothing that covers arms and legs and use mosquito nets on tents, strollers, carriers, and pools. Consult with your pediatrician before apply­ing mosquito repellent to infants two months or younger. Once back indoors, bathe children with mild soap and water as soon as possible to remove the product.”

In addition to applying repellent, certain actions and precautions may be taken to help combat controlling mosquito problems. Circulating air, either from an overhead fan or standing fan, keeps air from becom­ing stagnant,” Daniel said. “If you’re hosting an event outdoors or just enjoying a summer evening, keep fans on to keep the mosquitos at bay.

“Planting bug-repellent plants in pots and positioning them near sitting areas may also help. Those plants are citronella, lemongrass, lavender, basil, and marigolds,” Daniel said.

“Fire has also been proven to ward off mosquitos. But, whether it’s a candle on a table or a bonfire, always practice exceptional fire safety.”

Likewise, the CDC has outlined several tips to control the mosquito population outside of the home. l Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs. l Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, bird­baths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers, because mosquitoes lay eggs near water. l Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels, etc.), so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs. l For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito. l Use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out. l If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito. l Kill mosquitoes outside your home by using an outdoor insect spray made to kill mosquitoes in areas where they rest. l Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture, or under the carport or garage. When using insecticides, always follow label instructions.

The CDC had likewise listed the best measures to control mosquitoes inside the home. l Install or repair and use window and door screens. Do not leave doors propped open. l Use air conditioning when possible. l Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like vases and flowerpot saucers. l Kill mosquitoes inside your home. Use an indoor insect fogger or indoor insect spray .to .kill .mosqui­toes . and treat areas where they rest. These products work immediately, and may need to be reapplied. When using insecticides, always follow label directions. Only using insec­ticide will not keep your home free of mosquitoes. l Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid places like under the sink, in closets, under furniture, or in the laundry room.

For more information on general mosquito combatants and health circulating the matter, visit www.cdc.gov.

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