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Wed, Oct. 16

How to protect yourself, family and pets against mosquitoes

County health officials say wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin. (Courtesy)

County health officials say wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin. (Courtesy)

The first West Nile death for Arizona in 2019 has been reported in Maricopa County, so Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) would like to remind everyone to protect themselves from mosquitoes, which will be more prevalent with monsoon season.

“Environmental Health staff are performing routine trappings of mosquitoes throughout the county and will continue to do so through monsoon season,” county health services Director Leslie Horton reported. “No lab results have come back positive for carriers of West Nile this season.”

Stephen Everett, county health services epidemiologist, added that no cases of West Nile have been reported in Yavapai County.

Here are some ways to protect yourself, family and pets against mosquitoes:

Avoid mosquito bites

Apply insect repellent when outdoors: Use a repellent with an EPA-registered ingredient (DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535) according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants younger than 2 months and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children younger than 3.

Be aware of peak mosquito hours: The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning in areas of high risk.

Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites: Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Mosquito-proof your home

Drain standing water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by either draining or discarding items that hold water. Check rain gutters and drains: Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools and change the water in birdbaths frequently.

Install or repair screens: Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Protect your animals

Animal owners should reduce potential mosquito breeding sites on their property by eliminating standing water from containers such as buckets, tires, and wading pools – especially after heavy rains. Water troughs provide excellent mosquito breeding habitats and should be flushed out at least once a week during the summer months to reduce mosquitoes near paddock areas. Horse owners should keep horses in indoor stalls at night to reduce their risk of exposure to mosquitoes.

If you live near any water sources in the county – and see an influx of mosquitos in the area -- be assured the health department is on top of trapping in the area. Many of the calls to the department concerning flying pests actually have turned out to be gnats or midges, which are equally annoying, but they don’t carry any of the diseases mosquitoes do.

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