West Nile Virus has become a serious matter in the United States. Over 5,600 cases alone were reported by the CDC in 2012 – a scary number when taking in consideration that it can potentially lead to death. West Nile may be a rapid spreading epidemic that’s difficult to control, but you can take safety precautions to ensure you don’t contract it.
Mosquito Proof Your House
Mosquitos are the main transmitters of West Nile Virus, so you’ll want to make sure that your house is mosquito-proof. Mosquitos are attracted to cool areas, which is why they come flocking indoors. Be sure to implement the use of window screens and citronella candles to ward of these blood suckers. If all else fails, call an exterminator.
Use Bug Repellent
Children and elderly people tend to suffer the most mosquito bites, so it’s vital that you take precautions before sending them outside. Spray-on bug repellent helps keep mosquitos at bay, so you and your family members of all ages can enjoy the outdoors during the summer.
Wear Clothing That Covers Your Skin
When possible, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs when going outside, especially if you plan to be near water. West Nile is, unfortunately, most prevalent in the hotter parts of the U.S. – from the southeast to Texas – so covering your skin will be uncomfortable. Although it’s tempting to lose the layers, it’s important to cover as much skin as possible when outdoors during the summer months in order to discourage mosquito bites.
Make Your Yard Unattractive to Mosquitoes
It is imperative that you make your yard as unattractive to mosquitos as possible, especially if you and your family spend a lot of time outside. The best way to do this is to remove all standing water from your yard – that means bird baths, full flower pots, koi ponds – and yes, even swimming pools. There is nothing more than blood that mosquitoes are attracted to besides bodies of standing water, which is where they lay their eggs.
You can also repel mosquitoes from your yard by bringing in a few bird feeders or plants that birds are attracted to. Mosquitoes naturally stay far away from birds, since birds will just as soon east them as look at them.
Use Bug Zappers
Bug zappers are devices designed to attract and then kill insects, such as mosquitoes, so it’s a smart idea to have some hanging around the outside of your home. If you don’t wish to purchase a bug zapper, consider making one yourself as a DIY project.
Although mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, not all of them do. Mosquitoes can harbor a variety of diseases that wouldn’t be pleasant to catch. Not everyone who contracts West Nile Virus will experience symptoms. Out of everyone who catches West Nile, only 5 percent will actually get sick, although 5-10 percent of people infected will die from the disease. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been infected, seek medical treatment immediately.
There is no vaccine for West Nile Virus, so it’s important to take precautionary measures in order to prevent mosquito bites. For more information regarding the mosquito population where you live, call your local pest control professionals.
About the author: Chris is writer for an El Paso pest control company.