West Nile Spraying Viable Option

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As more and more cases of the West Nile virus appear in Michigan, the Michigan Mosquito Control Association advises state health officials to look at spraying.

There are more than 370 people infected with the virus. Out of the 125 deaths this year in the nation, 20 percent were in Michigan.

The association says few Michigan communities see spraying as a viable option.

It says ultra low volume spraying would kill adult mosquitoes carrying the virus, causing little hazardous effects.

The association also says next summer could be worse, considering the low amount of rainfall and mosquitoes this summer.

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Mosquito Protection Tips

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats and boots to reduce exposed skin.

  • Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.

  • Apply repellent liberally to all exposed skin areas.

  • Apply repellents to clothing, shoes, tents, mosquito nets, and other gear.

  • Use mosquito coils (ensure coils do not contain DDT).

  • Sleep in well-screened areas whenever possible.

  • Ensure that door and window screens fit tightly and do not have holes.

  • Insect repellents that contain 30-35 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) will provide adults with sufficient protection. The concentration of DEET in a repellent should not exceed 35 percent. Products with lower concentrations of DEET are effective but for a shorter period of time.

  • Reducing the amount of standing water on your property can significantly decrease the potential for mosquito breeding around your home.

  • Common breeding sites may include garbage cans, clogged roof gutters/drainage ditches, birdbaths, pool covers, flowerpots, tires, tarps, rainwater barrels, wading pools etc.

  • Containers that may accumulate water should be removed or holes drilled in the bottom.

  • Pools should be maintained and ornamental pools aerated or stocked with fish.

Source: www.lambtonhealth.on.ca/environmental/mosquito.asp contributed to this report.