Zika Virus and You

Zika Virus and You

Protecting your home and gutters from standing water is one of the most important and effective ways to prevent many insect infestations. According to the CDC, mosquitos are one of the most notorious disease-carrying vectors that can cause major issues. Mosquitos can transmit many serious diseases, including Zika Virus. Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus). These are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses.

These mosquitoes typically lay eggs in or near standing water in things like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, and flower pots. They prefer to live indoors and outdoors near people. A mosquito gets infected with a virus when it bites an infected person during the period of time when the virus can be found in the person’s blood, typically only through the first week of infection. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.

What are the steps to control mosquitos outside your home?
  • Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs.
  • Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
  • Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
  • For containers without lids and open gutters, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
  • Use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.
  • Suppose you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps: cover the open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
Mosquito Larvae

Mosquito Larvae

What are some methods to kill mosquitoes outside your home?
  • Use an outdoor insect spray made to kill mosquitoes in areas where they rest.
  • Mosquitoes rest in the dark, humid areas like under patio furniture or under the carport or garage. When using insecticides, always follow label instructions.
  • Key factors in mosquito prevention emphasize preventing standing water around your home.
  • Micro-mesh gutter guards, such as Optima Gutter Guards, stop insect entry into gutters by enclosing and covering gutters. This prevents adult mosquitos from propagating and laying eggs by keeping water flowing properly through gutters to avoid stagnation.

These simple steps are a good foundation for keeping your home safe and your family healthy. https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/controlling-mosquitoes-at-home.html

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