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Let's Keep Mosquitoes Away! Featured

Carol Lewis, YCCHS Assistant Director June 05, 2022 107

Summer heat means preparing for mosquitoes

Big Idea

  • Warmer temperatures brings more mosquitoes; they are more active during sunrise and sunset 
  • The key species of mosquitoes in Arizona are the Western Encephalitis, Culex Tarsalis and Aedes Aegypti
  • Culex species carry West Nile virus, Aedes carry Zika virus
  • Control common breeding sites, drain all liquids from holding places
  • Read more…

 

Let’s each do our part to eliminate mosquitoes!

Mosquito season is upon us in Northern Arizona. The warm temperatures make them pass through their life cycle faster, so more are laying eggs and more eggs are hatching.

Cecil Newell, Environmental Health manager reports, “YCCHS Environmental Health Specialists are monitoring mosquito activity throughout Yavapai County and as of yet we have not found any West Nile virus in the mosquitoes we have tested, however we are seeing an emergence of Culex mosquitoes already."

The key species of mosquitoes in Arizona are Western encephalitis mosquito, Culex tarsalis and Aedes aegypti (ae). Culex species can carry West Nile Virus while Aedes mosquitoes can carry Zika virus. Knowing which kinds of mosquitoes are active in our state is critical for our disease prevention strategies.

To keep mosquitoes away, start by controlling their most common breeding sites. Mosquitoes love to breed in slow-moving or stagnant water.

 

By Image: James Gathany, CDC, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1441809

 

Here are some simple ways to eliminate or limit the breeding sites on your property:

• Inspect potential breeding sites on a weekly basis — such as flowerpots or plant containers. Change the water if you see larvae.

• Tightly cover stored water — such as cisterns, cesspools, septic tanks, fire barrels, rain barrels and tubs.

• Change the water in birdbaths or wading pools 1-2 times per week. Drain stagnant pools, puddles, ditches, or swampy places. Stock ponds with top-feeding minnows. Keep margins of ponds clear of vegetation.

• Destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, or unnecessary water containers. Turn wading pools upside down when not in use.

• Keep rain gutters unclogged and flat roofs dry. Fill tree holes with sand and seal with mortar and remove tree stumps that may hold water.

 

 

As the weather heats up and mosquitoes become more active, you can help us Fight the Bite:

• Use an insect repellent that contains DEET. Most repellents contain the active ingredient DEET and give you about 5 hours of mosquito protection depending on variables like perspiration, rubbing, temperature or the abundance of mosquitoes.

  • Look for DEET products with a concentration of 35% or less; above 35% offers no meaningful additional protection.
  • You may apply the repellent to clothing and uncovered skin.
  • Avoid contact with your eyes, nose, or lips.
  • Ask your veterinarian about special repellents that can be applied to dogs

 

Important! If you have a baby or child: Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age.

  • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, or cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin. o Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when the sun is rising and setting - that is when mosquitoes are most active. Mosquitoes are attracted to specific characteristics of clothing such as dark colors and floral prints. Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes and colognes, which could also attract mosquitoes to you.
  • Wash off after exercising. If you have just exercised, you could be more attractive to mosquitoes. The insects find lactic acid -- which builds up during exercise -- alluring. So don't stay outside after that daily run -- shower off before enjoying the great outdoors.
  • Use air conditioning and put screens on all doors and windows at your home to keep the mosquitoes out.

 

 

Where do I need to take action?

Start in your own backyard. With Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Yavapai County, YCCHS wants to encourage and educate the public on the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

WHY do I need to take action?

To protect yourself, your family, and your neighbors.

With all of us working together, we can prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile and Zika virus. 

 

 

More Information:

https://yavapaiaz.gov/Portals/39/News/Mosquito_press_release.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/mosquitoes/about/what-is-a-mosquito.html

 

Editor’s Note: Some of the images shown here may be published under Creative Commons licensing. Images were possibly altered to accommodate the article. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

 

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Last modified on Sunday, 05 June 2022 23:30

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