Mosquito Awareness and Prevention Tips
As warm weather rolls in and spring rains continue, the City of St. Louis Department of Health (DOH) is reminding residents to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes. These pests carry serious diseases like Zika and West Nile Virus.
The good news is to date there has been no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 could be transmitted by mosquitoes. The illness is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
“Being aware of the four D’s: Drain, Dress, DEET, and Dusk/Dawn, is one of the best ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes,” said Jeanine Arrighi, Environmental Health Manager for the City of St. Louis. “The four D’s help reduce breeding areas and reduce the risk of mosquito bites.”
Mosquitoes breed in water! Drain any standing water in your yard each week. Bird baths, tires, clogged gutters and kiddie pools are common breeding sites.
Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors. Spray clothing with insect repellent since mosquitoes can bite through clothing.
All Day, every day: Whenever you are outside, use insect repellants that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. Use an approved repellent according to its label.
Limit time spent outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active and feeding.
Arrighi also recommends using natural insect repellants to help reduce the amount of mosquitoes around your property. Plants that can be grown in backyards and gardens that help keep mosquitos away include: citronella, lavender, lemon balm, catnip, basil, marigolds, peppermint, garlic, geranium, rosemary, pennyroyal and eucalyptus.
When using insect repellent on your child: Always follow label instructions. Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) on children under 3 years old. Do not apply insect repellent to a child's hands, eyes, mouth, cuts, or irritated skin.
DOH conducts precautionary mosquito fogging to help reduce the mosquito population. If you would like your block fogged please make a service request to the City of St. Louis Citizens’ Service Bureau (CSB) by calling (314) 622-4800. You can also contact CSB if you do not want fogging conducted around your property.
To learn more about mosquito borne illnesses and how to protect your family visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/
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Department of Health