Protecting yourself and home from mosquitoes - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Protecting yourself and home from mosquitoes

Protecting Yourself

• If you will be outside, you should wear a mosquito repellent containing DEET. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than 2 months. CDC recommends that you always follow the recommendations appearing on the product label when using repellent.

• Apply repellent on exposed skin and clothing. Do not apply under your clothes or on broken skin.

• To apply repellent to your face, spray on your hands and then rub on your face.

• Adults should always apply repellent to children.

• Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors for long periods of time.

• Avoid perfumes and colognes when outdoors for extended periods of time.

• If you've been drinking alcohol, mosquitoes may be more likely to bite. 

• Make sure that your house has tight-fitting windows and doors, and that all screens are free of holes.

Protecting Your Home

• Reduce the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around your home, which is where mosquitoes breed.

• Dispose of tin cans, ceramic pots and other unnecessary containers that have accumulated on your property. Turn over wheelbarrows, plastic wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children's toys or anything that could collect water.

• Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers. Drainage holes that are located on the container sides collect enough water for mosquitoes to breed.

• Check and clean roof gutters routinely. They are often overlooked, but can produce millions of mosquitoes each season.

• Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens can become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not being used. A swimming pool that is left untended by a family for a month can produce enough mosquitoes to result in neighborhood-wide complaints. Be aware that mosquitoes may even breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

Chikungunya Fever/Dengue Fever

DHH continues to monitor Chikungunya Fever and Dengue Fever, and include any reported cases in its weekly Arbovirus Surveillance Summary. DHH has no new cases of either disease.

Travel Precautions

Anyone traveling abroad should also take the precautions listed above to protect themselves from mosquitoes in other countries. Mosquitoes in other parts of the world including the Caribbean, South America, Asia, Africa or Europe might infect you with chikungunya or dengue fever. For more information about these diseases, visit the CDC's website by clicking here.

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