Now that warm weather is finally here, Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) officials are expecting an increase in the amount of mosquitoes in Lake County. Although it’s been fairly dry, there are still areas where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. “The best advice is to get rid of standing water around your house and use personal protection,” said Bert Mechenbier, Supervisor of Mosquito Control at Lake County General Health District. LCGHD wants the public to know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) has no data to suggest that COVID-19 is spread by mosquitoes or ticks. The primary method of transmission of COVID-19 is through respiratory droplets.
Homeowners should follow these tips to keep mosquitoes from breeding in their backyards:
- Dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, plastic covers or other containers that collect and hold water. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in containers as small as bottle lids.
- Keep roof gutters unclogged. Clean gutters in the spring and fall.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. Keep them covered when empty.
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted trays at least once a week, if not more often.
- Fill or drain puddles, ditches, and swampy areas and either remove, drain, or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
- Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.
- Eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs.
- Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.
- Do not let water accumulate in children’s plastic toys.
LCGHD would also like to advise the following to protect yourself from biting mosquitoes:
- Avoid being outside at dawn/dusk. If you cannot avoid those times, use a repellent. Use an insect repellent containing active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing. Of the products registered with the EPA, those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection than other products.
- Use repellents according to label instructions. Insect repellents can be used on pregnant women. EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for repellent use by pregnant or nursing women.
- Most insect repellents can be used on children. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not to be used on children under the age of three years. Do not allow children to handle or spray insect repellents. When using on children, apply to your own hands first and then put it on the child. Avoid applying repellent to children’s hands because children frequently put their hands in their eyes and mouths. EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for using registered repellents on children. Repellents containing a higher percentage of the active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection. Regardless of what product you use, if you start to get mosquito bites, reapply the repellent according to the label instructions.
- Wash treated skin and clothing after returning indoors.
- Wear light-colored clothing.
- Wear long sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks if you go outside when mosquitoes are most active (from dusk until dawn).Avoid wearing perfume, cologne and aromatic scents.
- Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight”. Repair or replace torn screens.
- Replace outdoor lights with yellow “bug lights”.
LCGHD is not scheduled to spray for adult mosquitoes yet, but the public can check the Lake County General Health Districts website http://www.lcghd.org/mosquito for updates as the schedule will be posted as soon as it is developed.
If you have a concern about standing water, please call the Lake County General Health District at (440) 350-2543. If the standing water is on private property, permission will be needed to enter the property. For general information on mosquitoes and mosquito control, please visit the Health District’s website at http://www.lcghd.org/mosquito .