Peak mosquito season is almost here. More than just buzzing in your ear and itchy bites, mosquito season means taking precautions against mosquito-borne illnesses. The best way to prevent mosquitoes from living in an area is to create an environment where they cannot breed. Buncombe County residents are being encouraged to eliminate standing water from their property.
The best way to protect your family from mosquito-borne viruses is to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard or neighborhood. Disease-carrying mosquitoes can breed in very small containers of water, so it is important that anything that can hold water be eliminated. Most people are aware that old tires should be disposed of since they are excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Consider some of these lesser-known breeding grounds:
- Bird baths and pet bowls should be rinsed out and refilled every few days.
- Check unused flowerpots or dishes under pots for excess standing water.
- Check barbecue grills, ashtrays, tarps and children's swimming pools.
- Keep rain gutters free of leaves and other debris that prevent water from draining. Repair leaky outdoor faucets. Clean debris off of flat roofs.
- Correct drainage problems in your yard to prevent rainwater from pooling.
- Report drainage problems in ditches along highways.
- Store boats, canoes, children's wagons, etc. so that they do not collect rainwater.
- Discard any unused containers. Thousands of mosquitoes can breed from one small can or bottle.
- Eliminate standing water in low, grassy areas or tire tracks.
If you plan to be outdoors during the early morning or evening hours when mosquitoes are most active, protect yourself by following these simple steps:
- Prevent mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors.
- Use a repellent containing low concentrations of DEET (10 percent or less for children; 30 percent or less for adults), following the manufacturer's instructions.
- To keep mosquitoes outside, use screened windows and doors and make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn.
If you have concerns about mosquitoes in your neighborhood, contact the Environmental Health Division 250-5016.
For more information about encephalitis or mosquito-borne viruses contact the Disease Control Division of Buncombe County Department of Health at 250-5109.
For a brochure about eliminating mosquitoes from your area contact the Buncombe County Department of Health at 250-5016.