Health officials warn of mosquito control

Posted July 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm     Category: HealthNews Release

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County received more than 3.5 inches of rain from Hurricane Arthur, creating many areas where mosquitoes can potentially breed. It’s time to look around your yard because mosquito control starts at home. Limiting the areas where mosquitoes can live around your home or place of business is an important way of reducing their populations.

The Asian tiger mosquito is the number one nuisance pest in North Carolina and breeds in man-made containers.  The Asian tiger mosquito is most well-known for transmitting dengue and chikungunya viruses but it has also been found infected in nature with the following viruses: West Nile, Eastern equine encephalitis, and Japanese encephalitis (CDC, 2012). It can also transmit dog heartworm parasites. Ways to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease include:

Remove any containers that can hold water, even a small amount (1/8 inch), including saucers under flower pots;

  • check tarps, buckets, kid’s toys, trash cans, under decks, wheel barrels, kayaks/canoes, boats, pools, pipes, etc. for standing water and eliminate the potential for these items to hold water;
  • store out of service or unmounted tires under cover so as to prevent the collection of any water;
  • keep gutters clean and in good repair;
  • repair leaky outdoor faucets;
  • change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least once or twice a week;
  • when possible, drain any standing water on your property such as puddles and ditches that hold water for more than a few days after rain or try planting native species in those low spots that can help soak up the water; and
  • make sure rain barrels have no holes and have tight-fitting screens or lids.

To protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites:

  • reduce time spent outdoors, particularly in early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are most active;
  • use screened windows and doors and make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn;
  • wear light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts; and
  • apply mosquito repellent containing DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, Picaridin, or IR3535 to exposed skin areas following the label directions.

For additional information regarding the use of repellents see the following website: http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html#which.  For more information on the Asian tiger mosquito, please contact New Hanover County Vector Control at 910-798-6667.  Follow the Health Department on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NHCHealth or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NHCHealth.

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Release Contact:

Joshua Swift
Deputy Health Director
(910) 798-6592

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Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277