ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Spring showers and warmer temperatures have arrived, and with these the predisposing favorable conditions for the emerging rise of mosquitoes.
To control the increase of mosquito population, we must be aware of surrounding conditions to interrupt and break the life cycle of the mosquito. It is important to denote that mosquitoes are attracted to heat and carbon monoxide, so the potential of mosquito bites is increased during physical and outdoor activities.
It is noteworthy, that only female mosquitoes require a blood meal, and that not all mosquitoes carry pathogenic viruses that transmit diseases, such as Zika virus, West Nile, and dengue fever, just to name a few.
While there are some hazards involved in dealing with mosquito population such as nuisance bites and disease transmission, it is important to follow the guidelines below to reduce the risks associated with them.
The most important factor is to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and living sites. Make sure you empty standing water sites, such as large puddles, old tires, flower pots, and anything that can hold water. When given these conditions, mosquitoes can develop within seven days.
Some mosquitoes are aggressive ankle biters, like the Aedes Aegypti, which bites around dusk and dawn. That mosquito is also a known carrier of the Zika virus, which was not prevalent in our area last year, but was found in many popular travel/vacation sites.
When following these guidelines, chances of these illnesses affecting you or those you are with, significantly decrease. Most importantly, being aware of the breeding sites and standing water points can be very beneficial to preventing bites from happening. Prevention of mosquito bites is more manageable than we know, and it is a personal responsibility to make sure we are protected. While there may still be a possibility, the only actions that work are the ones you take!
For additional information or training, please contact your healthcare provider or the Environmental Health section at Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic at 278-1964.