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Oswego County Health Department: How to Avoid Mosquito Bites and Manage Populations

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OSWEGO COUNTY, NY (WSYR-TV) – The Oswego County Department of Health Mosquito Monitoring Program is underway.

So far, mosquito-borne diseases, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus have not been found in the county.

However, the health department has some tips to help people avoid mosquito bites, as heavy rains and humidity are ideal for mosquito populations.

“From late spring to fall, we closely monitor mosquito and virus activity. Mosquito samples are routinely collected from a number of trap sites in the county and tested by the state lab, said Chris Williams, Oswego County Public Health Associate.

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang listed these methods to prevent bites:

  • Use insect repellant correctly and read all safety instructions
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks
  • Limit outdoor exposure when and where mosquitoes are most active

The Department of Health also warns that insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil should be used with caution. DEET and Permethrin are intended for application to clothing and equipment and should not come in contact with the skin.

There are also ways to minimize the mosquito population around your home, and the health department describes ways to do this:

  • Repair or replace all window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home
  • Throw away old tires which are a major mosquito breeding site. Used tires are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Contact the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
  • Empty or throw away buckets, cans, flowerpots or similar containers with water.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are kept outside.
  • Clean the roof gutters and make sure they are draining properly.
  • Turn wheelbarrows and wading pools over when not in use.
  • Clean and chlorinate outdoor pools, saunas and hot tubs, and drain pool covers.
  • Change the water in birdbaths and drinkers twice a week.
  • Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
  • Use landscaping to remove standing water that collects on your property.
  • Kill larvae using dunk kits in standing water around your property

For more information on dunk kits provided by the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District office, call 315-592-9663.


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