Spring is here…mosquitoes will start to appear. Zika and West Nile viruses are known to be transmitted via mosquito bites.
Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your family.
- Generally, it is recommended to avoid being outside during dawn and dusk, as mosquitos that transmit West Nile virus are most active (and hungry) at these times. Unfortunately, the mosquito that transmits the Zika virus is hungry during the daylight hours…so apply insect repellent anytime you are outside during prime mosquito season.
- Try to prevent water pooling around your yard. Check your sprinklers and gutters to make sure they are working properly.
- Apply insect repellent…and reapply as needed. Applying repellent to clothes helps repel insects as well. Just remember to wash the skin and the clothes after use of repellent. Infants can start using insect repellent at 2 months of age.
- Cover arms and legs if outside for long periods of time
- Avoid combination insect repellent/sunscreen as they need to be reapplied at different times.
Key things to look for when choosing an insect repellent:
- DEET is the most effective repellent.
- High % DEET only means you need to reapply less frequently. For children, opt for one with less than 30% DEET.
- Re-apply every 2-5 hours depending upon strength. For example, 10% DEET needs to be reapplied every 2 hours.
- Insect repellents with essential oils are not as effective and need to be reapplied every 2 hours.
Stay tuned for another blog on West Nile and Zika viruses!