It is time to think about mosquito control and the prevention of West Nile Virus. Since we don't know what this mosquito season will bring, don't let down your guard. Remember to "dump the water" and follow these tips to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes.
- Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair damaged screens. Caulk around loose fitting doors and windows.
- Remove all discarded tires from their properties and dispose of cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots and similar water-holding containers. Tires used as swings should have drainage holes drilled or poked through the rubber. Dispose of tires for free at a Tire Collection on June 5th at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Lewistown!
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly and keep them clean.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs regularly. Drain water from pool covers.
- Change the water in birdbaths at least once a week.
- Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows, buckets and watering cans when not in use.
- Clean ditches of obstructions so they can drain properly.
- Weekly check and eliminate any standing water that collects on your property.
- Check trees for cavities that hold water and fill them with soil, gravel or sand.
- Remind or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their properties.
- Avoid being outside between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are likely to be biting.
- When outdoors, wear light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts or jackets, long slacks, socks and shoes.
- Use mosquito repellent containing DEET according to label directions (no more than 30 percent DEET for adults and 10 percent or less for children).
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened area.
Interested in learning more about West Nile Virus? How it spreads and its impact on domestic animals, birds, and other wildlife? Are future outbreaks likely? Answers to these questions as well as information on the proper management of the mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus will be addressed during Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus, a University of Illinois Extension teleconference program. Dr. Philip Nixon, University of Illinois Extension Entomologist will address the West Nile Virus problem and how you and your community can manage mosquitoes to reduce the chances of getting West Nile Virus and other diseases spread by mosquitoes.
This program will be offered on Tuesday, July 22nd at 1:30 p.m. at the Peoria County Extension office. For more information or to register call 543-3308 or go to http://web.extension.illinois.edu/fmpt/.