Due to the recent rains which have left standing water in backyards, drainage ditches and other low lying areas, the Logan County Health Department has launched its mosquito control assistance program, Administrative Director Jay Smith said today.
The Logan County Health Department provides larvicidal briquettes, commonly called “mosquito dunks”, to the public. The briquettes are deposited in standing water and provide an eco-friendly method of mosquito control. The active ingredient in the briquettes works by killing mosquito larvae before they are able to develop into adult, biting mosquitoes. Many species of mosquitoes are nuisance biters only, but some types of mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as West Nile virus.
West Nile virus is spread through the bite of the Culex mosquito, which feeds on infected birds and then transmits the virus when biting humans, horses, and some other mammals. Smith suggested remembering the “4 D’s of Defense” to protect yourself against West Nile virus:
· Dusk and dawn – Avoid outdoor activities during these prime times for mosquito activity.
· Dress – Wear long pants and long sleeves when outside to cover the skin.
· DEET – Use an insect repellent containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) when outdoors and reapply according to label directions.
· Drain – Drain those items that collect standing water around your home, yard, or business. Scrub and refill pet water dishes and bird baths regularly.
Since West Nile virus was introduced into the state in 2002, 329 persons have been diagnosed with West Nile virus in Oklahoma, and twenty persons have died from encephalitis caused by the virus. “West Nile virus can be a debilitating disease,” said Smith. “We strongly urge Logan County citizens to begin now to practice mosquito control prevention activities around your home and business.”
For more information mosquito dunks or West Nile virus, contact the Logan County Health Department at 405-282-3485.