The most effective way to avoid mosquito-borne infections and to prevent mosquito bites is to protect yourself from mosquitoes. Prevention is the first line of defence against West Nile, Zika, malaria, and other mosquito-borne infections.
Reduce Breeding Areas
Eliminating and removing possible breeding habitats for mosquitoes can greatly reduce populations. Mosquitoes breed in standing stagnant water. Eliminating as many of these sites as possible will reduce the incidence of mosquitoes in the vicinity. Poorly drained areas such as low spots, depressions, tire ruts or other areas that collect water need to be remedied and minimized. Items that collect water such as bird baths, old tires, rain barrels/buckets, and clogged gutters need to be monitored and emptied after rain. Catch basins and other areas collecting water should be monitored closely to ensure standing water does not persist.
Aside from not going outside, taking precautions when you do go outside will greatly reduce ones exposure. Wearing a long-sleeved shirt and long pants with socks will cover most of the body thus greatly eliminating exposed skin for mosquitoes to bite. Applying insect repellent to the parts of the body that are exposed will help deter and prevent mosquitoes from biting.
Prevention for You and Your Family
- Apply an appropriate insect repellent that contains DEET, Lcaridin, oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, and soybean oil when outdoors and follow the manufactures instructions on the label.
- Wear light coloured, loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and pant legs while outdoors.
- Reduce time spent outdoors between the hours of dusk and dawn.
- Make sure your doors and window screens fit tightly and are free of holes.
- Reduce the mosquito habitat around your home by regularly cleaning and emptying water holding containers such as bird baths, wading pools, children’s toys, eavestroughs, tarp covers and plant trays.
- Ensure that rain barrels are covered with a fine screen and tightly sealed around the downspout.
- Clean your yard of old tires, empty flower pots, buckets and any other debris where water collects.
- Keep grass mowed and vegetation trimmed around high use areas (ex: doorways & seating areas).
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