Fight the bite every week with #MosquitoMonday
#MosquitoMonday is a public health campaign aimed at reducing mosquito-borne illnesses, such as the Zika virus. This summer, we’ll post tips and advice for residents each Monday on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Please share this information with your friends and family and let us know what questions you have. You can post your questions on our social media pages or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this time, mosquitoes in Tennessee are not transmitting Zika, which has been associated with birth defects. Mosquitoes here, however, are known carriers of other diseases seen each year in Tennessee, including West Nile virus and La Crosse encephalitis. They can also carry dengue fever, yellow fever and Chikungunya virus although not currently in Tennessee.
Preventing Mosquito Bites
- If you are outside when mosquitoes are present, wear protective clothing such as long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants and wear socks.
- Apply repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. The CDC recommends the use of repellants that contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane 3, 8-diol and IR3535. The duration of protection varies by repellant; read labels on products to determine when reapplications are necessary for optimal protection.
- Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase pretreated permethrin clothing.
- Ensure your home has tight-fitting screens over windows and doors to keep mosquitoes from entering apartments and houses. Be sure that all screens are in good repair.
Prevention – Eliminating Breeding Grounds
Eliminating mosquito breeding areas is an important factor in controlling the mosquito population. Remember a mosquito can lay her eggs in a small amount of water, even a bottle cap’s worth. We urge you to reduce breeding sites around your home by taking these steps:
- Dispose of, regularly empty, or turn over any water holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flower pots or trash cans.
Recycle unused tires or treat them with larvicides. Improperly stored tires can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. For information on Knox County’s Tire Recycling Program, including how to properly dispose of unwanted tires, click here.
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors.
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly and water doesn't pool in them.
- Change the water in birdbaths twice a week.
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Keep swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs clean and properly chlorinated.
- Remove standing water from pool covers.
- Keep grass cut short and trim shrubs to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes.
- Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds.
- Fill in hollow tree stumps and rot holes, a common breeding ground for the Aedes mosquito, with sand or concrete.
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish - water gardens are attractive but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.
- To prevent breeding in large water-holding devices, including bird baths or garden pools, use larvicides such as mosquito torpedoes or mosquito dunks. If used properly, larvicides will not harm animals.
- Check the CDC’s travel webpage before traveling outside the U.S. because it’s important to be aware of the diseases impacting your destination(s), including those spread by mosquitoes, and take steps to prevent infection.