Cases of the mosquito-born Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE are on the rise. This is a relatively rare but dangerous virus that can cause inflammation of the brain and lead to permanent impairment or death. EEE is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and can be passed to any person of any age.
The most effective way to prevent infection from Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus is to prevent mosquito bites. With the cooling weather, many outside areas can remain wet for prolonged periods of time, making it a prime environment for mosquitoes to reproduce. Below are steps that you can take to protect against mosquito bites and reduce mosquito populations around your home.
Mosquito Repellents and Avoidance
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing.
- Avoid outside activities during peak mosquito hours - from dawn to dusk.
- Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
- The mosquito repellent/insecticide permethrin can be used on clothing and will stand up to several washes. Always follow the directions on the package.
Keep Mosquitoes Outside
- Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.
Eliminate Breeding Sites
- Keep your gutters clean and free of leaves.
- Fix leaky outdoor faucets and hoses - mosquitoes can breed in the water that pools underneath them.
- Remove standing water - turn over any boats, kayaks, and anything that can catch rain water.
- Change water in birdbaths regularly, as well as drip trays under flower pots.
Use a Mosquito Control Service
With the increased risk of EEE, some communities are providing public mosquito spraying programs, however, this is for general population reduction and does not target a specific home or yard. Since most mosquitos only fly 150 yards from the place they were born, protecting your yard specifically is critical to controlling mosquito populations around your home. Using a professional service that can apply insecticides around your home and directly target mosquito hotbeds is great way to significantly reduce the presence of mosquitoes and provides you and your family an additional layer of protection from bites.