precautions against mosquitoes: West Nile Virus
What can I do to reduce my risk of becoming infected with West Nile
to October, when mosquitoes are most active, take the following precautions:
clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks should
be worn if outside during evening, nighttime and dawn hours, because
that is the time when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite.
- If outside
during evening, nighttime and dawn hours, consider the use of an insect
repellent containing 10% or less DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)
for children and no more than 30% DEET for adults.
DEET ACCORDING TO MANUFACTURER'S DIRECTIONS:
not use DEET on infants or pregnant women. (Instead: avoid
outdoor activities during peak biting times, wear covering clothing
and use netting/screens to preclude mosquito bites.)
not allow young children to apply DEET themselves.
not apply DEET directly to children. Apply DEET to your own hands
and then put it on the child.
putting on the hands of children or near their eyes and mouth.
not spray directly on the face, spray into the hands first and
then apply to the face.
not apply to cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
not use under clothing.
not spray DEET-containing products in enclosed areas.
is effective for approximately four hours. Avoid prolonged or
excessive use of DEET. Use sparingly to cover exposed skin and
all treated skin and clothing after returning indoors.
DEET out of reach of children.
B, ultrasonic devices, incense and bug zappers have not been shown
to be effective in preventing mosquito bites.
What can I do around my home to help reduce exposure to mosquitoes?
lay their eggs in standing water. Weeds, tall grass, and bushes provide
an outdoor home for the adult mosquito commonly associated with West
Nile virus. Mosquitoes can enter homes through unscreened windows or
doors, or broken screens. Here are some steps that you can take:
sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or
replace all screens in your home that have tears or holes.
all discarded tires from your property. The used tire has become the
most important domestic mosquito producer in this country.
of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, or similar water-holding
containers. Do not overlook containers that have become overgrown
by aquatic vegetation.
holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors.
Drainage holes that are located on the sides collect enough water
for mosquitoes to breed in.
sure roof gutters drain properly. Clean clogged gutters in the spring
screen "rain barrels" to ensure mosquitoes can't deposit
eggs in or on water.
and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor hot tubs. If not in use, keep
empty and covered.
water from pool covers.
ornamental pools or stock them with fish. Water gardens are fashionable
but become major mosquito producers if they are allowed to stagnate.
over wheelbarrows and change water in bird baths at least twice weekly.
Both provide breeding habitat for domestic mosquitoes
any standing water that collects on your property. Use landscaping
as needed. Mosquitoes will develop in any puddle that last more than
or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their properties.
Please Note: Although certain pesticide
products are available for sale in the market place to control mosquito
larvae, one must obtain a special permit from the Department of Agriculture,
Division of Pesticide Control to be able to apply pesticides to any surface
waters in the state of New Hampshire. Questions regarding how to apply
for such special permits may best be directed to the New Hampshire Deparment
of Agriculture, Division of Pesticide Control at 603-271-3550.
is the State doing to address the possible presence of West Nile virus?
Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, along with other
City, State and federal agencies, has developed a plan to assess for
the presence of West Nile virus and to find and control the kind of
mosquitoes known to carry the virus. This plan includes trapping and
testing mosquitoes in selected areas throughout the state, testing dead
birds and other animals, and human surveillance. If West Nile virus
is found, focused and limited applications of pesticides may be needed
to prevent the spread to people.
health risks are posed to people and pets from pesticides?
West Nile Virus is detected in New Hampshire and control measures are
needed pesticide application will be recommended; the products that
will be applied will be used according to integrated pest management
guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In the small
amounts used, these pesticides would pose negligible risks to people
and to pets. Residents will learn about spraying schedules through different
mechanisms that may include public service announcements, the media,
the DHHS /DES websites, a telephone information line and local authorities.
I report dead birds?
Animal Control Officers, Health Officers and The Department of Agriculture
are taking reports on dead bird sightings within New Hampshire. While
we are interested in collecting information about all dead birds as
part of our efforts to understand West Nile virus, we may not be testing
every dead bird reported, crows are of particular interest.
The Department will only be collecting a sample of all the dead birds
reported. However, we encourage New Hampshire residents to report all
dead bird sightings to assist the department's monitoring efforts.
do not receive a phone call from your Animal Control Officer, Health
Officer or the Department of Agriculture to arrange pick up or delivery
of the dead bird, within 24 hours of making the report or by the next
business day, please carefully dispose of the dead bird. West Nile virus
has never been shown to spread directly from birds to people, however
dead birds should not be handled with bare hands. Bury the dead bird
using gloves or a shovel to avoid direct contact.
more information call the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human
Services, West Nile Virus Info line, at (866) 273 - 6453.
reports of dead birds, please call the Department of Agriculture at
(603) 271 -2404
care providers with clinical questions or to report human suspect or
probable cases please contact the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control
at (800)852-3345 ext. 4496