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Posted on: May 24, 2018

PESKY MOSQUITOES CAN BE MORE THAN A NUISANCE

Image of CDC Map Of Zike Virus Carrying Mosquitoes

Parker County Judge’s office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Joel Kertok

Phone: (817) 598-6166

9 AM, May 24, 2018



PESKY MOSQUITOES CAN BE MORE THAN A NUISANCE

   Parker County is home to both types of mosquitoes that can carry a dangerous disease, known as the Zika Virus.

   Parker County’s Ag Extension Agent Jay Kingston said the good news is that the virus has not been found in any mosquitoes in Parker County, but cautioned it doesn’t mean Parker County residents can rest easy.

   Kingston said while Zika Virus is not new in the world, it is relatively new to the United States.  Until recently, Zika was considered a mild disease with few lasting effects.

   However, public health officials are now concerned that pregnant women who contract Zika can pass the virus on to their unborn babies, which may result in a birth defect known as microcephaly. Microcephaly is a condition where the fetal brain and head do not fully develop and reach normal size.

   “Unfortunately there is no cure or preventive treatment for Zika or the microcephaly, similar to other mosquito carried illnesses,” Kingston said. “There are however, a number of things we can do as individuals to control the population of mosquitoes.”

  “The Four D’s” – How to Manage Mosquitoes & Protect Against Bites

  1. Dusk/Dawn – Avoid being outside when mosquitoes are searching for a blood meal, which is usually in the early morning hours and just before the sun goes down. While some species are daytime biters, many prefer to feed at night but all can be actively feeding at dusk and dawn. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes that carry Zika, Dengue, Chikinguna and Yellow Fever also bite during the daytime.
  2. Drain – Empty standing water from “containers” around your home and work areas, such as buckets, wheelbarrows, kiddie pools, toys, dog bowls, water troughs, tires, bottles, etc. Make improvements that allow standing water to run off following rains.
  3. Dress – If out during mosquito feeding hours, wear long sleeves and pants in plain colors. Avoid attracting them by wearing excessive amounts of perfume or aftershave.
  4. Defend – Any time you go outside for an extended period of time, wear a mosquito repellent. DEET provides up to 6 hours of high protection from mosquitoes and has an excellent safety record. People who dislike the smell or oily feel of DEET can choose from two other excellent mosquito repellents. Lemon oil of eucalyptus (an aromatic, plant-derived natural mosquito repellent) and picaridin (odorless) provide excellent, though shorter protection than DEET. Keep a bottle or can of insect repellent just outside the doorway to remind you to spray exposed skin.

Additional measures that can be used around the house or workplace include:

  • Using mosquito dunks containing insect growth regulators or Bti
  • Mowing tall weeds and grass
  • Spraying labeled contact insecticides in shady mosquito resting areas
  • Installing mosquito barriers such as screened windows and doors –or- making sure they are in good repair

-End-

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