Neighborly Mosquito Control
Mosquitos are not just a nuisance; they can carry diseases which can be transmitted to humans. Many Jones County residents have probably already been bitten by a mosquito this season, but did you know that you can reduce the number of mosquitos on your property? “One of the best ways to be protected from mosquitos is to prevent them from breeding around your home. And, if your entire neighborhood works to eliminate mosquito breeding areas, the number of these pests invading your property will be reduced even more,” explained Wesley Smith, Health Director for the Jones County Health Department.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it takes about seven to ten days for a mosquito egg, laid in containers that hold water, to develop into an adult mosquito. To reduce the population of mosquitos that may be on your property, the Jones County Health Department asks residents to “Tip n’ Toss” all standing water in and around your home, including:
- Leaky faucets or roof
- Flower pots with plates (inside and outside)
- Birdbaths (change the water at least once a week)
- Trash, tarps, garden equipment
- Toys, plastic child swimming pools
- Clogged gutters (be aware of the ridged drain pipes that draw water from the gutter to the ground as mosquitos can lay eggs in drops of water left in the ridges)
Smith said, “Because mosquitos can carry viruses that cause West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, it is important to remember to protect yourself, family and friends from mosquito-borne illness.” Other than eliminating standing water, other effective precautions are to wear long-sleeved clothing, ensure window screens do not have holes, and use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA®) registered insect repellents. EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women and children. However, it is always important that you follow the product label for instructions.
When traveling, be aware of mosquito-transmitted viruses that are not common in eastern North Carolina but are in other areas of the United States or internationally: Zika, Malaria, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever. People traveling to an area with widespread Zika transmission need to take extra precautions since this mosquito-borne virus can be transmitted to unborn babies by infected mothers and sexually transmitted to partners. Please talk to your medical provider before travel, especially if you are, or are planning to be, pregnant.
To learn more about Zika protection and prevention or Tip n’ Toss, visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika/, or call the Jones County Health Department at (252) 448-9111.