Mosquitoes can be a summertime pest which no one enjoys being bitten by. The best way to avoid mosquito-borne diseases is to take steps to prevent mosquito bites in the first place.
The Licking County Health Department (LCHD) reminds Licking County residents about the public health dangers associated with mosquitoes, including mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Lacrosse Encephalitis. Follow the recommended mosquito control guidance to ensure our community is kept healthy this summer.
Preventing mosquito bites
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, which includes puddles, stagnant ditches, and containers such as old tires, buckets, cans, neglected swimming pools and flower pots. Eliminate standing water on your property to reduce mosquito breeding sites.
When outdoors, cover skin with light-colored long pants and shirts and repel mosquitoes with an EPA-approved bug repellent containing DEET or picaridin. It is important to apply repellent when participating in any outdoor activity when mosquitoes are active. Also, repair door and window screens to keep mosquitoes out.
Additional tips to help avoid mosquito bites
• Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.
• Repair or replace all torn screens in your home.
• Remove all discarded tires from your property.
• Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar water-holding containers.
• Make sure roof gutters drain properly. Clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. If not in use, keep empty and covered.
• Drain water from pool covers.
• Change the water in bird baths at least once a week.
• Turn over plastic wading pools, and wheelbarrows, etc. when not in use.
• Clean ditches of obstructions so they drain properly.
• Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property.
• Check trees for cavities that hold water and fill them with soil, gravel, or sand.
• Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their properties.
• Use insect repellent and follow the label directions.
Mosquito-borne transmitted diseases
Mosquitoes can transmit locally acquired diseases like West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Lacrosse Encephalitis. Mosquito-borne diseases that may be imported into Ohio (travel-acquired) include Chikungunya virus, Dengue, Japanese encephalitis, Malaria, Yellow fever, and Zika.
What is West Nile Virus?
West Nile Virus (WNV) is spread by infected Culex Pipiens and other types of mosquitoes that can lead to severe illness or death in humans. Most people infected with WNV do not show symptoms. Of those who do experience symptoms, they include high fever, rash, nausea, vomiting or other serious symptoms. The easiest and best way to prevent WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.
What is Zika?
Zika virus is a disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito which is found in the tropics and in the southern United States. It is not known to be established in Ohio. Of the few who experience symptoms, they are usually mild and include fever, rash, joint pain or conjunctivitis. Because of the association between Zika infections in pregnant women and birth defects, pregnant women shouldn’t travel where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
About the Licking County Health Department’s mosquito control program:
The Licking County Health Department’s mosquito control program
was established in 2001 and covers nearly all of Licking County (excluding a few entities who conduct their own control programs).
Mosquito traps are placed in pre-identified locations in the county to monitor mosquito populations and test for West Nile Virus. If the number of mosquitoes caught in a location exceeds LCHD’s threshold, our staff will work with the elected officials in that area to schedule an adult mosquito control application.
LCHD’s mosquito control program utilizes an integrated pest management approach where the least toxic intervention is applied to control mosquitoes. LCHD applies EPA-approved products in a careful manner and in accordance with all applicable laws.
Mosquito spraying applications are administered after dusk during the mosquito breeding season by an LCHD marked vehicle.
For more information on how to prevent mosquito bites and LCHD’s mosquito control program, visit www.LickingCoHealth.org. To receive weekly emails including the mosquito spraying schedule, sign on to our mailing list from our website.