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A feature from  Logan County Health Department

Health officials advise mosquito control and personal protection

[MAY 19, 2003]  As you know, mosquito season is upon us again. Last year, West Nile virus, which can be transmitted by mosquitoes, was prevalent in Illinois. Although we don't know what 2003 will bring, it is always best to be prepared.

First of all, no amount of larvaciding or adult mosquito fogging will kill all mosquito larva or adult mosquitoes. It can have a tremendous impact, but it is only one way to help eliminate the mosquito population. Each person must do his or her part. Since mosquitoes need only a small amount of water for breeding, look to your own back yard.

*Remove or empty water in old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, flower pots or bird baths

*Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week and store indoors when not in use. Also, swimming pools that are not used should be covered or drained during the mosquito season.

*Change the water in bird baths and plant pots at least once a week.

*Level the ground around your house so water can drain away and not collect in low-lying areas.

*If you have an ornamental water garden, stock it with mosquito-eating fish such as minnows, "mosquito fish" or goldfish. They eat mosquito larva.

*Keep weeds and tall grass cut short; adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours.

*Small impoundments of water may be treated with "Bti," a bacterial insecticide. Many hardware stores carry doughnut-shaped Bti briquets (Mosquito Dunks) for this purpose.


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Since we will not eradicate the mosquito, we must also be responsible about personal protection. You can protect yourself by:

*Avoiding places and times when mosquitoes bite. This is usually just before and after sunset and just before dawn. Each species has its own peak period of biting.

*Be sure doors and screens are tight-fitting and in good repair.

*Check to see that your mosquito repellent contains DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide)

Generally, repellents with a concentration of 25 percent to 35 percent DEET work best on adults; use lower concentrations of 10 percent or less for children between the ages of 2 and 12. Do not use on infants.

For more information, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm and http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/

You may also contact the Logan County Health Department at (217) 735-2317.

[Logan County Health Department news release]


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