Texas County Health Department advises the community that it is important to remember to take cautions to protect yourself and your pets from mosquitoes! Mosquitoes can carry disease and are a nuisance to outdoor activities. Simple steps can be followed to reduce the chances that mosquitoes will bother you this season.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in still, stagnant water and can breed in as little as a teaspoon of water. Mosquito eggs can hatch in as short as three days. Adult mosquitoes live in tall grass, weeds and shrubs throughout the heat of the day. Mosquitoes can be a threat, as they are known to carry diseases such as West Nile virus and encephalitis. These are diseases that cause flu-like symptoms and are easily treatable, but can be fatal if left untreated.
There are some simple steps to take to reduce mosquito population and chances of being bitten:
q Remove items that collect standing water from your property. These are optimal habitats for mosquitoes. Check your yard for things like buckets, cans, plastic, tarps, trash, toys, flower pots or tires and dump any standing water. When possible, move items to a place where they will not collect water.
q Change water frequently in items like wading pools, birdbaths and pet water dishes.
q Store boats with the drain plugs removed and tilted so that water runs into the drain.
q Include fish in landscaping ponds to eat mosquito eggs and larva or keep the water moving.
q Keep grass mowed and resist over watering plants to reduce mosquito habitat.
q Mosquitoes feed at dusk and dawn so plan outdoor activities outside these times of day.
q Apply mosquito repellant to help prevent mosquito bites. Always follow product directions.
q Treat ditches, low areas in the yard, rain barrels, and other standing water with mosquito larvicide dunks, which can be purchased at your local home improvement store. Be careful to follow product directions.