Take The Bite Out Of Mosquitoes

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With warmer weather comes the return of some unwelcome visitors, mosquitoes. The annoying bugs aren't just a pain, they can carry deadly viruses.

The Health Department will begin a mosquito spraying schedule in Lexington on Monday, but we don't have to wait to take bite out of those pests.

Experts say we would all be wise to try to mosquito proof our homes and yards immediately. Environmental Health Specialist Nathan Powell says, "That means emptying any standing water after a heavy rain, and getting ride of any old tires or flower pots or buckets. Bird baths need to be changed periodically, anything that would hold water for a period of time more than a couple of days. That way you reduce your chances of any mosquitoes being harbored in your yard."

And he reminds us to always check window and door screens for holes. If you happen to live beside a pond that draws mosquitoes, there are still some things you can do to minimize the problem.

Powell says, "You always want to avoid being out during peak body times which are usually from dawn until dusk. Anytime that you're out during those hours, you want to make sure that you wear some kind of EPA repellent that might have DEET in it. We at the health department have a larvae sighting program where we actually come out and bait those areas where mosquitoes will lay their eggs, therefore eliminating any problems with larvae."

And one the mosquitoes are flying, the spray should do the trick. According to Powell, "Our spray only works on adult mosquitoes but if they're flying in the air, we can eliminate them."

Health department tests have detected fewer West Nile virus pools have been detected here in recent years, and they're hoping the trend continues in 2008 although wet springs usually bring more mosquitoes.

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