Mosquitoes aren’t just a nuisance; they can carry a variety of diseases, including such as West Nile virus. Experts believe West Nile virus is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall.
Cerro Gordo County Mosquito Surveillance Program
The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health has a mosquito surveillance program to help experts detect diseases that may be carried by the mosquitoes. The program consists of these parts:
- Mosquito Traps
- Purpose: To monitor numbers and types of mosquitoes. Certain species are more likely to carry disease while other types are more likely to be nuisance mosquitoes.
- Larvae Surveillance
- If our health inspectors find a large amount of culex mosquitoes in local mosquito traps, Public Health inspectors will treat the water. This involves a health inspector placing a larvacide tablet into the standing water, which will inhibit mosquito eggs from hatching into adult mosquitoes. Using the larvacide tablets in areas where mosquito larvae are detected is much more effective, and less expensive, than trying to combat the mosquito population once they have hatched. The larvacide does not pose a threat to humans.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites and reduce mosquito breeding!
- Reduce mosquito breeding areas
- Empty containers that can hold water
- Remove old tires
- Repair leaky faucets
- Keep gutters clean and in good repair
- Stock ponds with fish that eat mosquito larvae
- Fill in potholes and puddles
- Change water in birdbaths, pet bowls and wading pools every 3-4 days
- Prevent mosquito bites
- Wear long sleeve shirts and pants
- Avoid outdoor activities near dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active
- Repair torn door and window screens
- Use mosquito repellents
What type of mosquito repellent should you use?
Of the active ingredients registered with the EPA, three have demonstrated a higher degree of efficacy in the peer-reviewed, scientific literature. Products containing these active ingredients typically provide longer-lasting protection than others.
The CDC recommends you choose one of these repellents:
- A repellent containing 35% DEET
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus, a plant based repellent, is also registered with EPA. In two recent scientific publications, when oil of lemon eucalyptus was tested against mosquitoes found in the US it provided protection similar to repellents with low concentrations of DEET.
- * Always use caution when applying repellent and follow product directions.
For more information on mosquitoes and suggested repellents, visit the CDC web site.