Mosquitoes are an all too familiar part of summer. They are not only annoying, but they present a potential health risk as carriers of disease. Eliminating mosquito habitats around your home can go a long way to reduce the mosquito population. To help with the elimination of mosquitoes, Knox Public Health applies an EPA-approved pesticide in areas that are prone to mosquito infestation, especially when there will be large gatherings of people, such as recreation parks and during community festivals. The pesticide Knox Public Health uses is harmless to humans. See below for more information on mosquito spraying.
Information on West Nile Virus in Ohio
Doing Your Part to Eliminate Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes require standing water for their young to hatch and develop. Once eggs are laid, a new generation of mosquitoes can hatch, grow and emerge from the water as adults in as little as one week. It does not take much water for mosquitoes to hatch and grow. For example, the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus prefer to breed in old stagnant water with organic material, whereas the mosquitoes that carry La Crosse encephalitis prefer somewhat cleaner water to lay their eggs and use small containers and crevices that may hold only a cup or two of water. Eliminating mosquito habitats around your home can prevent bites, reduce your risk of disease and make your summer evenings more enjoyable!
Here is a checklist of common and easily overlooked mosquito habitats around the home:
- Tires, buckets, cans, bottles and plastic containers
- Bird baths (drain and refill every 3-4 days)
- Wading or kiddie pools (drain and refill frequently)
- Pools and hot tubs (keep chlorinated, covered or keep completely dry)
- Pool covers that hold water
- Boats, boat covers and tarps
- Pet food containers and water dishes
- Clogged gutters and downspouts
- Leaky outside faucets that create puddles
- Rain barrels that are not properly screened or treated
- Low areas that form puddles
- Planters and pots, including saucers and catch trays
- Trash cans (use tight fitting lids and keep them covered)
- Rain barrels (screen with fine 1.6 mm mesh)
- Mature trees that have develop cavities or holes that hold water – fill the voids with sand
- ANYTHING that has the potential to hold even small amounts of water
Mosquitoes are attracted to anything they can get a blood meal from. Some mosquitoes, including the ones that carry West Nile virus will readily enter homes when screens are damaged or missing. Avoid being a mosquito meal by taking these simple precautions.
- Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active;
- Wear light colors, long sleeves, long pants, and socks when spending time outside in mosquito-infested areas;
- Make sure door and window screens are tight fitting and free of holes ;
- Use an EPA registered insect repellent when outside where mosquitoes are present;
- When camping or spending time outdoors, consider Permethrin treated bed-nets, tents, or clothing;
- Avoid perfume, colognes, or other heavy scents that may attract mosquitoes.
These are some things that don’t work:
- Bug zappers;
- Electronic “ultrasound” devices;
- Insect repellents that aren’t EPA registered
Mosquito Repellent Information
Insect repellents play a very important role in protecting people from mosquitoes. They help prevent mosquitoes from biting and reduce your exposure and risk to the diseases they may carry. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends “the use of products containing active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing.” Look for products that contain:
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD
ALWAYS FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS WHEN APPLYING INSECT REPELLENTS
For more information about insect repellents, check out the CDC website.
Precautions You Can Take When We Spray For Mosquitoes
Knox Public Health will issue a news release to the local media regarding dates and locations where we will be spraying for mosquitoes. You can also check our social media pages about mosquito spraying in your area.
While the pesticide we use is EPA-approved, do not follow a spray truck when it is operating. If you are in a vehicle, raise the windows, turn on the air conditioning (on recirculation mode), wait for the truck to pass or find an alternate route.
Check out some more specific information on the EPA Approved Pesticide we use.