The New York Metropolitan area continues to focus its attention on mosquitoes due to West Nile Virus. The West Nile virus is spread to people primarily by Northern house mosquitoes (Culex pipiens) that acquire the virus from infected birds. The West Nile virus can lead to West Nile encephalitis, an infection that in its worst case can cause inflammation of the brain. Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that mosquito-borne viruses such as St. Louis Encephalitis and West Nile Virus kill over 100,000 people and 300,000 domestic animals each year.
Mosquito control is usually the responsibility of Public Health Officials at the local, county, state or national level. But everyone can help prevent mosquitoes by eliminating standing water on and about there property. Learn how to prevent mosquito infestations. Follow these simple tips for proper water management around your home:
- Remove old tires, buckets, or other water holding containers.
- Fill in or drain any puddles or ruts on your property.
- Clean rain gutters frequently.
- Keep trash containers covered to keep out rain water.
- Change the water in plastic wading pools, container plant saucers and birdbaths frequently.
- Scrub out any organic debris before refilling.
- Fill in any tree rot holes or hollow stumps that retain water.
And of course, keep window and door screens in good repair. Remember, a good defense is often your best offense.