Here are some key points.
- Some species of mosquitoes may carry very serious diseases.
- Use an insect repellent containing DEET to protect yourself.
- Dump standing water from any place where mosquitoes may breed.
Mosquito bites can be very serious
- Mosquitoes – common insects that seem to be everywhere at this time of year – are not only annoying, but they may also carry disease.
- In recent years, some species have been linked to a disease called West Nile virus, which has led to a number of deaths and illnesses.
- Some species of mosquitoes have also been known to carry other potentially fatal diseases, such as encephalitis.
- Even if you don’t become ill, mosquito bites can be very itchy and possibly lead to infection.
- While mosquitoes are a constant problem, especially in the summer months, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and to reduce their presence.
Mosquitoes are attracted to odors on your skin and to carbon dioxide from your breath.
Avoid scratching mosquito bites.
Be careful not to let water accumulate in tires that are stored, or you may find mosquitoes breeding.
- Mosquitoes are attracted to odors on your skin and to carbon dioxide from your breath.
- Using an insect repellent with the chemical DEET is a good way to protect yourself so mosquitoes are less likely to bite you.
- Lightly spray the repellent on exposed skin and clothing. Always follow the directions on the label.
- Do not spray the repellent directly onto your face. Spray your hands, then gently rub them over your face, avoiding your mouth and eyes.
- Be sure to spray your clothing with repellent. Mosquitoes can bite through thin clothing.
- Do not apply the repellent under your clothes or on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
- If you are putting repellent on a child, spray it on your own hands, then apply it to the child. Do not put repellent on the child’s hands.
- When indoors, use soap and water to wash all areas of your skin that were treated with repellent, especially if you applied it more than once during the day. Also, wash all clothes that were sprayed with repellent before you wear them again.
Other ways to protect yourself
- Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks when you are outdoors in areas where mosquitoes may be.
- Avoid bright-colored or floral print clothing that may attract mosquitoes.
- If possible, tuck your pant cuffs inside your shoes. Do not wear sandals or walk around barefoot.
- Avoid going outside at dawn and at dusk, if possible. That’s when mosquito activity is at its greatest.
- Do not scratch mosquito bites. Instead, use lotions such as calamine lotion, which you can get at a local drugstore, to reduce the itchiness.
- Notify your supervisor if you think you are having an allergic reaction to the bite of a mosquito or any other insect.
- Tell your supervisor if you see any dead birds or dead animals near your work site. It’s possible they died from West Nile virus or another mosquito-borne disease.
- Be sure to close openings on water bottles and soft drink containers when they are left unattended. That way, mosquitoes can’t crawl in when you aren’t looking.
- Keep mosquitoes out of your home by making sure all doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.
More mosquito prevention measures
- Know that mosquitoes can breed anywhere there is standing water. Larvae eventually develop into adult insects that can bite you.
- Dump water from any place where it has been standing for four or more days. This includes tires, birdbaths, barrels, wheelbarrows, wading pools, and buckets.
- Clean rain gutters to avoid standing water where mosquitoes can breed.
- Notify your supervisor if you see any standing water where mosquitoes or other insects appear to be breeding.
Mosquito Protection Do’s and Don’ts
- Use insect repellent with DEET to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and shoes when you are outdoors.
- Contact your supervisor if you see dead birds or dead animals that may have been infected with a mosquito-borne disease.
- Use insect repellent without first carefully reading the label instructions.
- Apply repellent on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
- Allow standing water to gather in wheelbarrows, tires, or other places where mosquitoes may breed.