The Amarillo area, compared to last year, has had about the same amount of rainfall but mosquitoes will begin to pose a problem soon for some area residents.
The City of Amarillo’s Environmental Health department encourages everyone to check their property for standing water. If you have items like flower pots, tires, and other items that collect water, empty them regularly after each rainfall to help stop mosquito larvae from hatching into biting adults.
“Eliminating mosquito breeding areas is the most effective thing we all can do to the reduce the numbers of biting adult mosquitoes but the City absolutely needs the help of everyone to assess their property on a weekly basis to see if there’s a need to mow or drain any standing water in buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpots, trash containers, or other items that might retain water” says Environmental Health Director Shaun May. “It’s also important to note that mosquito bites can spread dangerous diseases like West Nile virus and others. Those bites can be avoided by wearing the correct type of clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks along with applying mosquito repellant.”
Remember the four “D” slogan detailing how you can Fight the Bite:
Drain, Deet, Dress, and Daily
- Drain … and Mow! – Tip, toss, and drain the water from all containers around your property. Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation. Residents can reduce the number of areas where adult mosquitoes can find shelter by cutting down weeds adjacent to the house foundation or yards and mowing the lawn regularly. To further reduce adult mosquitoes harboring in vegetation, insecticides may be applied to the lower limbs of shade trees, shrubs and other vegetation. Always read and follow label directions before using any pesticide.
- Deet – Apply insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors. Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellent, and re-apply if you are outside for long periods of time. Look for these active ingredients recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the EPA: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and plant-based oil of lemon eucalyptus (do not use this product on children under the age of 3 years).
- Dress – Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants and socks while outdoors to prevent mosquito bites.
- Daily Avoid Mosquitoes – The mosquitoes that spread West Nile Virus bite between dusk and dawn. Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors during these hours. If you are outside, be sure to wear repellent and protective clothing.
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