Mosquito-transmitted Disease Prevention
For more information on preventing mosquito bites, click HERE
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Mosquitoes can be more than a nuisance; they can carry diseases, including chikungunya, West Nile virus, La Crosse encephalitis, dengue and Zika. At this time, mosquitoes in Tennessee are not transmitting Zika, which has been associated with birth defects. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. When traveling outside the U.S., it’s also important to be aware of the diseases impacting the region(s) you’re visiting, including those spread by mosquitoes, and take steps to prevent bites. For more information about taking care of your health before traveling, click here.
Preventing Mosquito Bites
It’s important to take necessary precautions against mosquito bites during outside activity. We recommend residents take the following precautions during mosquito season (generally April through October in East Tennessee):
- If you are outside when mosquitoes are prevalent, wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks.
- Use a mosquito repellant that contains DEET (the chemical N-N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) and follow the directions on the label. If you are concerned about using repellent products on children, consult a health care provider for advice. For additional guidance on finding the repellant that is right for you, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s webpage here.
- Ensure that 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.
For more mosquito bite prevention tips, especially when traveling to less developed countries, click here.
Prevention – Eliminating Breeding Grounds
Eliminating mosquito breeding areas is an important factor in controlling the mosquito population. We urge you to reduce breeding sites around your home by taking these essential 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 larvacides. 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 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
More information about mosquitoes and our vector control program: