Mosquitoes can cause illness. La Crosse encephalitis is spread by infected mosquitoes and usually affects children. There are about 50 cases of La Crosse encephalitis each year in West Virginia. West Nile virus is also spread by infected mosquitoes and usually affects the elderly.
What can I do about mosquitoes?
- Empty standing water in old tires, cemetery urns, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other container where mosquitoes may breed.
- Empty and change the water in birdbaths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week if not more often.
- Drain or fill temporary pools with dirt.
- Keep swimming pools treated and circulating.
- Keep rain gutters clean and in good repair.
- Use mosquito repellents containing DEET. Apply sparingly to children before they play outdoors, and rinse children off with soap and water when they come back in. Do not apply repellent to the face and hands of young children because they may rub it in their eyes. Follow label directions and precautions closely.
- Use head nets, long sleeves, and long pants if you venture into areas with high mosquito populations.
- Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight.”