PUBLIC HEALTH MOSQUITO REMINDERS

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - 4:23am

Heavy Rains and Floods Create Ideal Conditions for Breeding

NEWS RELEASE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH - MADISON & DANE COUNTY

Madison WI, June 18, 2008 - The recent heavy rains and flooding have created ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed in large numbers. This is important because of the risk of West Nile Virus, which is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Although few mosquitoes actually carry the virus, it is always a good idea to minimize your exposure to mosquito bites. Here are a few tips:

• Avoid being outside during times of high mosquito activity, specifically around dawn and dusk
• Use effective mosquito repellant and apply according to the label instructions
• Keep window screens repaired so mosquitoes cannot enter your home
• Dispose of discarded tires, cans or plastic containers left outside that may contain standing water
• Turn over plastic wading pools, hot tub covers, wheel barrows, boats and canoes when not in use
• Keep drains, ditches and culverts clean of trash and weeds so water will drain properly
• Clean gutters and downspouts to ensure they drain properly
• Change the water in bird baths, pet dishes and wading pools every 3-4 days
• Trim tall grass, weeds and vines since mosquitoes use these places to rest during hot daylight hours
• Landscape to prevent water from pooling in low-lying areas

Even though there are many large open pools and puddles of water left from the flooding, the issue of water that may have collected in small containers is still of serious concern. The mosquito most likely to carry West Nile virus prefers to breed in the polluted stagnant water in these small containers, so making an effort to empty these containers is highly recommended, even if there is lots of open water on your property.

For more information on mosquitoes and health see:

http://www.cityofmadison.com/news/view.cfm?news_id=905

http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/mosquitosite/

For information on flood-related health issues:
http://www.publichealthmdc.com/floodInfo.cfm

-END-

Contacts: 
  • John Hausbeck, (608) 243-0331
  • Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302