Mosquitoes can cause illness. La Crosse encephalitis is spread by infected mosquitoes and usually affects children. There are about 50 cases of La Crosse encephalitis each year in West Virginia. West Nile virus is also spread by infected mosquitoes and usually affects the elderly. And, most recently in the news, the Zika virus can cause pregnancy complications and a number of other issues.
What can I do about mosquitoes?
- Empty standing water in old tires, cemetery urns, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other container where mosquitoes may breed.
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week if not more often.
- Drain or fill temporary pools with dirt.
- Keep swimming pools treated and circulating.
- Keep rain gutters clean and in good repair.
- Use mosquito repellents containing DEET. Apply sparingly to children before they play outdoors, and rinse children off with soap and water when they come back in. Do not apply repellent to the face and hands of young children because they may rub it in their eyes. Follow label directions and precautions closely.
- Use head nets, long sleeves, and long pants if you venture into areas with high mosquito populations.
- Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight.”
Mosquito Control Myths
- FALSE: Ultraviolet lights used in bug zappers and ultrasonic devices are effective.
- FALSE: Bats and Purple Martin birds eat enough mosquitoes to be useful.
- FALSE: Citronella candles and citronella repellents, and garlic keep mosquitoes away.
- TRUE: Integrated pest management (IPM) is today’s standard for controlling mosquitoes. IPM involves surveillance, getting rid of mosquitoes, larvicide and biological controls, as well as public relations and education.
For more information on integrated pest management, click here.
For a color brochure on mosquito control, click here.
For a map of counties that have had infected mosquitoes, please see the 2015 Vector-borne Disease Report.
For help with a mosquito problem, call us at (304) 523-6483, 264 and file a request for help.