Preventing West Nile Virus

Every day we are faced with the challenge of protecting our homes and families from pests. Every year I battle ants, spiders and bees. Right now, it is prime mosquito season here in Utah. We are luckier than most places because it’s such a dry climate but that doesn’t mean we are immune.

Mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus so it’s important to protect your family. In most cases the infection is mild, but one in five people develop severe symptoms.

Most of us take the usual precautions. Bug spray, citronella candles outside, wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants when we hike or camp. Unfortunately mosquito bites are not just something that happens in the woods or mountains, they can happen in our homes as well.

There are several things you can do to help prevent mosquitoes in and around your home. The first thing is to check all of your screens. Mosquitoes only need a very small opening to get in so make sure your screens fit properly and don’t have any tears. Pay special attention to the screens in rooms the kids use a lot. If you have small children your screens can take a beating. Also teach your family to completely close the screen door when they use it.

Standing water is a problem. If you have a water feature in your yard that you have turned off, make sure you drain it. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. This is true for dog watering bowls and kiddie pools that are left filled for days. Don’t forget to check any empty buckets or flower pots. A rainstorm can fill them with enough water to make a home for mosquitoes.

As pleasant as summer evenings spent outside can be, if you are in an area with a high mosquito population you may want to stay indoors to prevent any mosquito bites.