National Mosquito Control Awareness Week

mosquito-control-of-victoria-10.jpgExtreme and warm weather conditions are creating a perfect storm for a bumper crop of mosquitoes and potentially dangerous West Nile this season.  

June 23-29 is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week sponsored by the American Mosquito Control Association, designed to alert us to what we can do to protect ourselves when outdoors this summer.

Whether from the unseasonably stormy start of summer and wet conditions, mosquitoes are already out in full force and several parts of the country have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV), which is carried by mosquitoes.   Recently released statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that a total of 5,674 cases of WNV disease in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC in 2012.

As of June 4, 2013, the CDC is confirming at least one Neuroinvasive Disease Case in Texas.

Map of West Nile Virus activity describing United States that describes No WNV activity, Any WNV activity, WNV human disease case or presumptive viremic blood donor information.Image of the West Nile virus transmission cycle. The image is divided into two sides with a box in the middle. Inside the box there are images of mosquitoes on the top and birds on the bottom with arrows going from the mosquitoes to the birds and then from the birds to the mosquitoes. Mosquitoes transmit disease and birds are amplifier hosts. There is an arrow going from the mosquitoes to the left side of the image where a horse is in a field outside. The horse is a dead end host. There is also an arrow going from the mosquitoes to the right side of the image where there is a woman planting flowers outside of her house. The woman is also a dead end host.

So what can you do?

The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus disease is to prevent mosquito bites. Be aware of the West Nile virus activity in your area and take action to protect yourself and your family.

“It’s inevitable that mosquitoes are going to be outside but what we can help control is how we can keep them away from our outdoor living spaces, “ says Charlie Boswell from Mosquito Squad of Victoria (www.victoria.mosquitosquad.com).  The experts offer five strategies for mosquito control, including:

1. TIP. Reduce standing water to eliminate mosquito threats, including those in children’s sandboxes, wagons or plastic toys; underneath and around downspouts, in plant saucers and dog bowls.  Other hot spots include gutters, flat roofs and low lying ground under decks and porches.

2. TOSS.  Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and clippings from yards.  Lawn debris can create places for water to accumulate.

3. TURN. Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like children’s portable sandboxes or plastic toys.

4. REMOVE TARPS. If tarps stretched over firewood piles, boats or sports equipment and grills aren’t taut, they’re holding water.  Remember to shake out tarps immediately following a rain storm.

5. TREAT. Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body. Mosquito Squad’s eliminates up to 90% of the mosquitoes and ticks on a property.

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