With the first human case of West Nile Virus in St. Tammany Parish confirmed today by the Louisiana Department of Health, it is even more important to do everything you can to prevent mosquito breeding, and to take precautions to protect you and your family.
Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President, announced today, “that all St. Tammany Parish residents need to do their part in preventing other cases of the West Nile Virus by taking the necessary steps to reduce the risk of mosquito breeding and bites.” Brister went on to say, “the St. Tammany Parish Mosquito Abatement District personnel do a wonderful job, but we each have a responsibility to help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.”
To help prevent mosquitoes from breeding, the Parish is asking that all citizens drain standing water. A small amount of standing water can be enough for a mosquito to lay eggs and multiply. Look around your home and business for possible breeding places. Empty standing water from buckets, cans, pool covers, flowerpots and other items, as well as check to ensure rain gutters are not clogged. Clean pet bowls weekly, and if you store water outside or have a well, make sure it is covered. Encourage your neighbors to do the same. Additionally, keep mosquitoes outside by fixing or installing window screens.
Families should take precautions to protect themselves by applying insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Permethrin sprayed on clothing provides protection through several washes. Products with a higher percentage of DEET as active ingredient generally give longer protection. Wearing long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks sprayed with repellent while outdoors can further help prevent mosquito bites.
You can still enjoy the summertime activities St. Tammany has to offer, but you should take these preventative measures to protect yourself, your family, and your home. Do your best to avoid mosquitoes, particularly between dusk and dawn, when many mosquitoes bite.