To the editor:
Bryan Price, a senior vector-borne epidemiologist at the Indiana State Department of Health and director of entomology at the Epidemiology Resource Center, offers these tips to help avoid mosquito-borne diseases and reduce mosquito populations:
•Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn and early morning).
•Apply an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol to clothes and exposed skin.
•Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas.
•Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home.
Even a container as small as a bottle cap can become a mosquito breeding ground, so residents should take the following steps to eliminate potential breeding grounds:
•Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water.
•Repair failed septic systems.
•Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.
•Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed.
•Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains.
•Frequently replace the water in pet bowls.
•Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically; aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.
Jennifer Heller Rugenstein, Brown County Health Department
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