After floods, mosquitoes can become a major problem. Mosquitoes may transmit viruses such as Zika, West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis or dengue fever.
Be sure door, porch and window screens are in good condition. Don't leave doors standing open to let mosquitoes in the house.
Cover as much skin as possible to reduce exposure to mosquito bites and use a recommended repellent on exposed skin every time you are outdoors.
Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spray clothes with repellent containing permethrin for extra protection.
Also, limit the amount of time you spend outdoors from dusk to dawn. These are times when those mosquitoes likely to carry infections are most active.
Use insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Always follow label directions.
Store insect repellent at the front and back doors of your home and apply when you go outside. Keep extra repellent in outdoor areas such as patios and decks.
All mosquitoes need water to breed. This is why it is important to prevent stagnant water from standing around your home.
Take the following steps to help cut down on the mosquito population:
- Empty or get rid of cans, buckets, bottles, old tires, empty pots, plant saucers and other containers that hold water.
- Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water. Remove standing water around structures and from flat roofs.
- Change water in pet dishes at least once a day. Change water in wading pools and bird baths several times a week.
- Fill in low areas in the yard and holes in trees that catch water.
- Maintain your backyard pool or hot tub and be sure someone takes care of it if you are out of town.
- Stock ornamental ponds with fish that eat mosquitoes.
- Cover trash containers so they will not collect water.
- Water lawns and gardens carefully so water does not stand for several days.
- Repair any leaking plumbing and outside faucets.
- Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks or cisterns.
- Keep drains and ditches clear of weeds and trash so water will not collect.