Submitted by Oswego County
With several weeks of wet weather already this spring, the Oswego County Health Department is reminding people they will need to be extra vigilant to protect against mosquito bites this spring and summer.
“Although the chances of a person becoming ill are small, mosquito-borne viruses such as Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile can cause serious illness or death,” said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Public Health Director for the Oswego County Health Department.
“There are simple precautions that you can to reduce the mosquito population around your home and property, reduce or eliminate all standing water:
- Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
- Dispose of used tires, which are a significant mosquito breeding site. Used tires are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. There is a minimum $10 disposal fee. Contact the County Solid Waste Department at 591-9200 for information.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters.
- Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens.
- Turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths twice weekly.
- Clean vegetation and debris from edges of ponds.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
- Drain water from pool covers.
- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
People can reduce their chances of being exposed to viruses carried by mosquitoes by using insect repellents. The Oswego County Health Department advises people to:
- Use a mosquito repellent according to label directions.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt if you are outdoors for long periods of time, and when mosquitoes are most active, between dusk and dawn.
- Replace or repair broken screens.
Insect repellents that contain DEET or picaridin are effective but should be used with caution.
“Make sure to read the label and use according to package instructions,” said Dr. Norfleet.
For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564, or visit the New York State Department of Health Web site at www.health.state.ny.us.