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Mosquito season: Tips to prevent bites, keep mosquitoes from breeding

mosquito up close
(© nataba – stock.adobe.com)

While almost everyone has been bitten by a mosquito, some carry germs and infections like West Nile Virus, Zika, dengue and malaria.

The Blue Ridge Health District is offering tips to prevent bites and to keep mosquitoes away from your home.

What can I do to prevent mosquito bites?

  • Apply an Environmental Protection Agency registered insect repellent, such as those with 10-30 percent DEET to skin and clothing.
  • Wear long sleeves and trousers when outside, especially in the evening.
  • Cover strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting.
  • Keep windows and doors shut and use air conditioning as much as possible.
  • Use, install or repair window and door screens.

What can I do to keep mosquitoes from breeding?

Anywhere water collects could potentially be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. To prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs, remove standing water from outside your house.

  • Drain outside plant saucers and watering trays every few days.
  • Change water in pet bowls, birdbaths and wading pools often.
  • Flatten or puncture empty cans over garbage pails and recycling bins.
  • Turn buckets, wheelbarrows, toys and any outside containers upside down.
  • Dispose of old tires that may collect water.
  • Open clogged roof gutters and drain flat roofs.
  • Empty water from stored boats and cover with a tarp.
  • Shake out tarps that collect water after it rains.
  • Repair leaking outdoor faucets.

For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/mosquitoes

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.