Fight the bite: Reduce your risk for West Nile

Fight the bite: Reduce your risk for West Nile

Fight the bite: Reduce your risk for West Nile

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by KHOU.com staff

Harris County

Posted on August 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Enjoy the outdoors, but remember to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus. Your best defense against being bitten is simply to be prepared. Here are some tips to help fight the bite:

  • When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing the active ingredient DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 to reduce exposure to mosquito bites. Always apply as directed on the label. Do not allow young children to apply repellent to themselves; have an adult do it for them.
  • If possible, wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants when outdoors at dawn and dusk which are peak mosquito biting times.
  • Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.
  • Don’t feed the storm drains. Sweep up lawn clippings, leaves and tree limbs from sidewalks and driveways.
  • Remove/empty containers that can hold water such as flowerpots, buckets, tires, toys and plastic swimming pools. Birdbaths and pet water bowls should be changed at least twice a week.
  • Cover your boat or store in a covered place. Drain any standing water and make sure the bilge pump is working. Turn over canoes, kayaks and small boats to store upside down.
  • Keep rain gutters clean and draining and repair any outdoor household leaks.
  • When watering the lawn, be aware of any excess water that may accumulate. Fill in low areas around the yard.
  • When mosquitoes are noticed in your yard, spray with an outdoor mosquito spray. Be sure to use according to directions on the label. To control mosquitoes in your house, use a "flying insect spray."

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