With the increasing threat of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and the ongoing concerns with West Nile Virus — also transmitted by mosquitoes — officials across the Sunbelt advise property owners and managers to reduce the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Recommendations include:
- Dispose cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
- Empty standing water from used or discarded tires that may have accumulated on your property.
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors.
- Clean clogged roof gutters on an annual basis, particularly if the leaves from surrounding trees have a tendency to plug up the drains.
- Turn over plastic wading pools when not in use. A wading pool becomes a mosquito producer if it is not used on a regular basis.
- Do not allow water to stagnate in bird baths or wading pools. Change the water weekly.
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock with fish.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.
Farm and ranch workers and others who work or travel outdoors should use insect repellant. Coastal Bend health officials recommend following these insect repellant label instructions:
Reapply the repellent as necessary, avoid spraying underclothing, and apply sunscreen before applying mosquito repellent. Also, light-colored clothing with long pants and sleeves provides the best defense for mosquitoes.