The best course of action to prevent mosquito borne illnesses such as Zika and West Nile is to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.
How do I protect myself from mosquito bites?
A. Wear insect repellent: Yes! It is safe. When used as directed, insect repellent is the BEST way to protect yourself from mosquito bites—even children and pregnant women should protect themselves. Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer lasting protection.
- DEET: Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF!, Skintastic.
- Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Repel contains OLE.
- IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.
B. Cover up: When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
C. Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air conditioning or make sure that you repair and use window/door screens.
D. Avoid areas with large active mosquito populations: Don’t travel to areas with active Zika virus outbreaks. Avoid areas with dense woods or swampy, marshy areas. Stay inside during the early morning and evening hours when the mosquitos are most active.
E. Make sure that you empty any containers that hold water after each rain. Making sure that your yard is not a mosquito breeding ground will go a long way to preventing the spread of mosquito borne illness. What to look for: kids toys (buckets, sandboxes, pools, etc.), flower pots, bird baths (empty and refill weekly), anything that holds water. Here are 3 examples from my OWN yard…..