PREBLE COUNTY — Each summer in Preble County, mosquitoes are a familiar, biting pest in backyards, parks and campgrounds. Most are merely a nuisance and are not major vectors of diseases. In fact, only a few of the 59 species of mosquitoes in Ohio are known to transmit disease.
However, the diseases these mosquitoes can carry are very serious ones, such as encephalitis and malaria in humans and heartworm in dogs. Therefore, it is always advisable to take preventive measures to protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites.
The most effective way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes. Being aware of mosquito and mosquito-borne disease activity in your area allows you to take action to protect yourself and others.
Preble County Public Health and Ohio Department of Health encourage you to do the following:
Avoid mosquito bites:
Use insect repellent when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions. More information about repellents can be found at www.cdc.gov.
When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don’t apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
Mosquito proof your home:
Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use your air conditioning, if you have it.
Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least once a week.
Keep weeds cut short to help deter mosquitoes.
Report any dead crows or blue jays seen during mosquito season to Preble County Public Health as West Nile Virus (WNV) often will kill them.
To learn more about WNV and other diseases mosquitoes transmit, visit www.odh.ohio.gov.