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Avoid the Bite: Protect Yourself and Loved Ones from Mosquitoes

June 21, 2019


Summer marks the start of mosquito season, which continues through the Fall. West Nile Virus (WNV) cases can occur during this time, making it important to know how to protect yourself and loved ones. West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites.

One of the most effective ways to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites by using insect repellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “when used as directed, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.”  Make sure to use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness and safety. Always follow the product label instructions and reapply insect repellent as directed. To learn more about which repellent is right for you and your family visit:


TIP: If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second. 


Another effective way to avoid WNV is to control mosquitoes outside and inside your home.  Be sure to follow these tips from the CDC:

  • Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs.
  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
  • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
  • For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
  • Use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.
  • Install or repair and use window and door screens. Do not leave doors propped open.
  • Use air conditioning when possible.