Help Prevent West Nile Disease
Below is information concerning what attracts mosquitoes and what you can do to prevent them from taking over your residence.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Mosquito breeding sites can be everywhere. Neighborhood clean up days can be organized by civic or youth organizations to pick up containers from vacant lots and parks, and to encourage people to keep their yards free of standing water.
To reduce mosquitoes around your home and yard:
• Get rid of old tires, tin cans, bottles, buckets, drums and other containers in your yard or keep them empty of standing water
• Empty wading pools frequently and store them indoors when not in use
• Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets
• Replace your outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights
• Change water in bird baths and scrub them twice a week
• If you have outside pets, empty their watering dishes daily
• Clean clogged roof gutters and drain flat roofs
• Treat standing water that can't be drained with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), (also known as “dunks”) available at most home and garden stores
• Make sure window and door screens are "bug tight"
Avoid mosquito bites
Apply Insect Repellent Containing DEET
(Look for: N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) Even a short time outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. When searching for a natural repellent, sprays containing oil of lemon eucalyptus have been tested to be more effective than citronella candles and other natural ingredients. This natural option may require a few applications if you’ll be outside for an extended period of time.
Wear protective clothing
When possible, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or DEET will give extra protection. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.
Remain indoors during peak mosquito hours
The hours from dusk to dawn are peak mosquito biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning -- or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
For more information visit the Williamson County and Cities Health District website at www.wcchd.org.