Friday, May 20, 2011

Take Mosquito Prevention Steps Following Spring Rains (with English/Spanish Fact Sheets)

Reduce Standing Water to Help Avoid Mosquito Bites

The recent rains and flooding in many areas of the state may lead to an increased numbers of mosquitoes, common insects that breed in and around areas of standing water.

Kentuckians should take steps to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds to avoid mosquito bites, which can cause illnesses such as West Nile Virus (WNV).

“We tend to think of mosquitoes as a nuisance in the summer, but they can be a serious health threat and are known to carry disease,” said Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “Some mosquitoes carry diseases, which can be extremely debilitating and even deadly in some cases. Young children and the elderly are at higher risk for serious illness.”

DPH urges residents to maintain prevention efforts not only during times of flooding, but also throughout the summer until a hard freeze occurs:

— Survey property for areas of standing water, and eliminate mosquito breeding areas by removing it as it accumulates. Destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the containers for more than two days.
— Be aware that mosquitoes are most active at dawn, dusk and early evening, and stay inside if possible.
— Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors.
— Spray exposed areas of skin and clothing with repellents containing permethrin, DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), picardin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. (For more information on insect repellants visit the CDC website .)
— Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
— Report swimming pools that are neglected and in a state of disrepair.

Dogs and cats also are susceptible to diseases, such as WNV and other illnesses spread by mosquitoes, so pet owners should use a veterinarian-recommended mosquito and tick repellent. Be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.  

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) sprays for mosquitoes at the request of local governments and health departments. A KDA county spraying schedule and more information about the program are on the Department’s website.

Download the Kentucky Public Health Mosquito Prevention Fact Sheet. This fact sheet is also available in Spanish.



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