In the United States, mosquitoes are known to spread West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis and, in recent months, chikungunya virus. These illnesses do not have specific vaccines or treatments, so prevention of mosquito bites throughout the fall months is crucial.
As the seasons begin to change, it’s still important for people to apply bug spray containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors. This alone will significantly decrease their chances of getting bitten by an infected mosquito.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, also recommends the following tips to avoid exposure to mosquitoes.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes to protect the skin
- Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active
- Eliminate areas of standing water around the home, such as flowerpots, birdbaths and baby pools. Mosquitoes only need about ½ inch of water to breed
- Screen all windows and doors, repairing even the smallest holes that could serve as entry points for pests