Mosquitoes! Combat with prevention

Alabama Department of Health encourages residents to "Avoid the Bite" as mosquito season approaches. CONTRIBUTED
Alabama Department of Health encourages residents to “Avoid the Bite” as mosquito season approaches. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Mosquito season is approaching, and Alabama Department of Health urges residents to “Avoid the Bite” to enjoy the outdoors. This year, the possibility of Zika virus especially raises concern.

Different types of mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in varying habitats. Some species prefer woodland depressions or grassy shorelines. Others want to lay eggs in roadside ditches, containers or hollow trees.

A female mosquito can lay up to 200 eggs after one feeding on blood.

Removing the breeding environment for mosquitoes around the home is the first line of defense. Mosquitoes do not need much water to breed.

Empty containers that can collect water, like buckets, cans … even overturned garbage can lids. Remove water that collects on pool covers. Turn over canoes, children’s wading pools and wheelbarrows.

Clean birdbaths and water bowls for pets about once each week. Clean debris out of gutters. If you have unused tires, discard them or store the tires so water cannot collect. Homeowners should empty water that has collected in tarps in the yard and on woodpiles.

If a tree has fallen or removed for any reason, fill the hole with sand or mortar. Also, fill any holes or depressions in your yard. To avoid standing water, repair leaky pipes and outdoor faucets. Do now blow or rake grass clippings into roadside ditches.

Alabama Department of Health emphasizes that “prevention is the key” when dealing with mosquitoes. Homeowners and other individuals should take an active role in reducing exposure to mosquitoes. Eliminate breeding sties before mosquitoes become a problem.

In addition, residents can reduce the chances of being bitten by wearing protective clothing and repellents. And humans aren’t the only ones at risk — dogs and cats contract deadly heartworms from a mosquito bite.

Vector control for the City of Madison has information at www.madisonal.gov. For information about street fogging in Huntsville, call 256-532-1915 or visit huntsvilleal.gov/vectorcontrol. For details about Zika, visit adph.org/mosquito.

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