Prevent Mosquito Bites To Your Family, Pets and Horses Now
(ACCOMAC, Va.)— The Eastern Shore Health District asks the community to continue to take measures to control the mosquitoes that transmit diseases like West Nile Fever, Eastern, Western, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika Viruses and continue to protect their families, pets, and horses from mosquito bites now.
Earlier this year mosquito traps set on the Eastern Shore by health officials revealed that our community was doing a good job eliminating the container breeding Aedes albopictus or “Asian Tiger” mosquitoes! Many other species were found in the traps however, including 5 species of Culex, 3 species of Anopholes, 2 species of Psorophora and 4 other species of Aedes mosquitos.
As our area continues to receive heavy downpours that allow water to collect for longer periods of time, the mosquito populations can be expected to rise, and continue to be a health threat until the first frost. Therefore the Eastern Shore Health District continues to strongly advise all Eastern Shore residents to keep up the good work! And make sure that you protect yourselves, your family members, and pets from mosquito bites in order to keep your loved one from getting one of many potentially deadly diseases that mosquitoes can carry.
Eliminate mosquito breeding areas:
Turn over or remove containers in your yard where rainwater collects, such as potted plant trays, buckets, or toys.
Empty bird baths once a week.
Remove old tires from your yard.
Clean roof gutters and downspout screens.
Eliminate standing water on flat roofs, boats, and tarps.
Clear obstructions in ditches so they flow and drain. Fill in puddles with soil, or a mixture of sand and gravel, or dig drainage ditches to drain puddles.
If puddles or ditches cannot be drained or filled in, treat standing water with mosquito larvicide (dunks or granules) that can be purchased at any hardware store.
Protect yourself and your family:
Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.
Use insect repellent products containing DEET or Picaridin
Follow label instructions when using insect repellents
Treat outdoor clothes with permethrin sprays made for clothing. This will kill ticks and flies also!
Spray home window screens (by standing inside and spraying out) with permethrin spray.
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Protect your pets and horses:
Keeping animals inside at dusk and dawn can greatly reduce their mosquito bite exposure.
Vaccines are available for equines (horses, donkeys, mules, ponies, and miniature horses) that help prevent and/or lesson the effects of deadly mosquito-borne diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis (also called “sleeping sickness”) and West Nile Fever. Ask your veterinarian if your horses have enough protection.
Dogs can be vulnerable to deadly heartworms, if infected by the bite of a mosquito. In addition to preventing mosquito bites, you can ask your veterinarian about prescription preventatives and/or treatment.
Commercially available mosquito repellants safe for dogs and horses are available from your pet and livestock supply stores or veterinary offices that can help reduce bites and exposure to mosquito-borne disease if applied as needed according to product instructions.
For more information about mosquito-borne diseases and mosquito control, you can visit the Virginia Department of Health website here https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/Vectorborne/.
For more information about West Nile Fever, Chikungunya, Dengue Fever, and Zika and other viruses that cause disease in people, please find the most up to date information at the Centers for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov/
For more information about mosquito-borne diseases in equines you can visit the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services here http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-animal-health.shtml.