Take precautions to prevent insect bites

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 18, 2002

With the confirmation this week of the third human case of West Nile Virus in Alabama having been confirmed this week, we should all remember to take certain precautions that could lessen the chance of mosquito colony survival in our communities.

While the municipalities and other government officials have been increasing the spraying of insect repellants, that will not, but itself totally prevent mosquito bites from occurring.

Mosquitoes, by their very nature, are born first on the water, and then become airborne.

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Eggs are laid by the female mosquito on the surface of bodies of water that do not ordinarily move.

This could be in the form of puddles, creeks that are stopped up, and drainage ditches. But another fairly common area of mosquito breeding comes from buckets, cans, pails, and any other debris we normally take for granted in our yards n even a discarded soda can that has filled with rainwater becomes a good area for possible mosquito breeding.

State workers and the Alabama National Guard have been busy for weeks clearing low-lying shrubbery and trees from roadside, and filling in pools of stagnate water. We can all prevent the likelihood of mosquito growth if we eliminate these areas of breeding.

Another key prevention technique is to wear loose-fitting clothing when outside, especially just before dark, when mosquitoes are prone to feed the most.

Avoiding the wearing of strong colognes, perfumes and deodorants while outside is another way to prevent the attraction to the predatory insect.

Limited protection can be seen with the burning of Citronella candles and insects. If mosquito repellent is applied to the skin, it should be washed off as quickly as possible upon returning indoors.

It is through these few simple safety precautions that summer can still be an enjoyable time of year, both outdoors and in.