FIght the Bite! Take Action to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Posted on July 7, 2016

Fight the Bite! Take Action to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Somerset County Freeholder Deputy Director Peter S. Palmer and the Somerset County Department of Health are reminding everyone to be prepared for the buzz of summer. Take actions to protect yourself, your family and your community from those pesky mosquitoes!

“Mosquitoes can be more than a nuisance that spoil outdoor activities,” said Freeholder Palmer, health department liaison.  “Many carry serious diseases that affect humans and animals.”

West Nile Virus, Chikungunya and Zika viruses are diseases that can easily be transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. In addition, children are often allergic to mosquito bites and when these bites become infected, a bacterial skin infection called impetigo can develop.

Prevention is the most effective control for any pest problem. With mosquitoes, the key tactic is to eliminate breeding areas. Through the Health Department’s “Fight the Bite” program, residents have been learning simple landscaping techniques to help reduce the population of these biting insects and personal protection measures they can take to prevent mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes can breed in just two teaspoons of stagnant water and the typical backyard can generate thousands of mosquitoes each week. Follow these steps to “Fight the Bite!” and prevent mosquitoes:

  • Discard, or empty and scrub at least every seven days, all containers in your yard that can hold water, such as tires, bottles, flowerpot saucers, small pools, buckets and tarps.
  • Keep swimming pools disinfected and filtered; do not leave a swimming pool or pool cover uncared for, even for part of the year.
  • Keep gutters clean and in good repair.
  • Repair leaky outdoor faucets.
  • Clean and change the water in birdbaths and outside pet bowls at least twice a week.
  • Screen or cover any outside rain barrels.
  • Clean ornamental ponds and stock with fish that feed on mosquito larvae.
  • Prevent bites by wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants. Use a repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • To keep mosquitoes outside, make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn on windows and doors.

Look around your home, yard and garden to help reduce mosquito breeding and potential bites.  Following these simple tips can help you stay healthy and allow you to enjoy being outdoors in nice weather. For more information about mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases, visit http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes/index.html

For more information on the Zika virus, visit:

For information on the “Fight the Bite” program, contact the Somerset County Department of Health at (908) 231-7155 or HealthDept@co.somerset.nj.us

Source: Somerset Cty. Dept. of Health