The National Pest Management Association offers tips to stop the spead of mosquito-borne illnesses
FAIRFAX Va. (June 19, 2015) - With the arrival of summer comes the resurgence of one of America's most annoying and most dangerous pests -the mosquito. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 2,205 U.S. cases of West Nile virus in 2014, 97 of which were fatal. In honor of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, taking place this June 21 - 27, 2015, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) urges Americans to be vigilant against threats posed by mosquitoes.
"Though summer has yet to officially arrive, many states are seeing high levels of mosquito activity, and West Nile virus is already showing up in some tested birds and mosquitoes," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "While state agencies are already beginning to implement local mosquito abatement techniques, we strongly advise the public to make their own efforts to curb mosquito activity."
In the U.S., West Nile virus is the illness most frequently contracted through mosquito bites. However, another mosquito-vectored disease, the Chikungunya virus, has made its way in to the U.S. from the tropics via travelers to affected areas, with the first locally-acquired cases having emerged last year in Florida.
To reduce contact with mosquitoes and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses, NPMA recommends the following prevention tips:
Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects. Mosquitoes need only about 1/2 inch of water to breed.
Screen all windows and doors. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when the majority of mosquitoes are most active.
If you must spend time outdoors during peak mosquito times, or when you will be outdoors for extended periods, wear long pants and sleeves and use an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus.
If you are concerned about mosquito activity on your property, contact a pest management company or your local mosquito abatement district.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit PestWorld.org