Protecting yourself frommosquitoes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been diagnosed in Butler County by the loss of several emus.

Entomologists from Auburn are currently collecting mosquitoes on a regular basis from traps set in the area of the diagnosis.

Horse owners are urged to vaccinate their horses not only for West Nile Virus but also for EEE!

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These are two separate vaccinations.

The EEE vaccine can be obtained where animal health products are sold.

Be sure to read and follow the label that comes with the vaccine.

Mosquitoes are the primary carriers for West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

The key to preventing or controlling future outbreaks of both diseases among people, horses, and other livestock is to prevent or limit exposure to mosquitoes.

Reducing the population of mosquitoes can help prevent the spread of these diseases.

You should eliminate potential sources of stagnant water in which mosquitoes might breed.

Dispose of any water-holding containers, including discarded tires.

Store containers, such as buckets, in garages or barns.

If you must leave them outside, turn them over so that they do not collect rainwater.

Turn over plastic wading pools, or wheelbarrows when not in use.

Clean roof gutters annually.

Do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths.

Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish.

People with lily ponds can get mosquito fish (Gambusia), which eat larvae and live happily with goldfish.

If the water is constantly moving in an ornamental pond, there generally is not a problem with mosquitoes, unless there are aquatic plants for the larvae to hide among.

There are products available to control mosquitoes in the pond.

Mosquito dunks or floating Bt briquettes control mosquito larvae and do not harm fish.

One briquette lasts about 30 days and treats 100 square feet of surface water.

You can find them in pet stores or where pond supplies are sold.

Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not in use.

Mosquitoes can breed in the water that collects on swimming pool covers.

Decrease your animals' exposure to adult mosquitoes, and reduce your personal exposure.

Housing animals in structures with well-maintained insect screening can reduce exposure to adult mosquitoes.

Be sure to first eliminate mosquitoes from inside the structure.

This may be accomplished through a number of means, including the use of mosquito adulticides.

You can continue your outdoor activities, but you should reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.

Make sure windows and doors have screens that are in good repair.

Minimize time spent outdoors between dusk and dawn.

Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods or when mosquitoes are most active.

Farmers' Market sites in Greenville and Georgiana are doing good business with the abundance of rain to maintain crops.

The market will continue to be open Tuesdays and Saturdays in Greenville at the Fairgrounds and every Thursday at the Hank Williams Pavilion in Georgiana.

Most vendors arrive between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m.

For more information, please contact Russty Parrish at 334/382-5111.