Mosquitoes & West Nile Virus Prevention


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Tell mosquitoes to BUZZ OFF this summer! It is important to know how to help control the mosquito population where you live. Not only are they a nuisance, they have the potential to spread disease, like West Nile virus.

3 Ways to Control Mosquitoes in Your Yard

A single mosquito bite can give you West Nile virus. Why take a chance?

  1. Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes can breed in a container as small as a bottle-cap. For more tips, watch the slideshow on right.
  2. Treat standing water: Larvicides can help to control mosquito breeding sites.
  3. Spray your yard: Used carefully, an insecticide can help eliminate mosquitoes.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family

Even if you get rid of most of their breeding ground, mosquitoes can still find you. Here are some tips to Fight the Bite:

  • Defend yourself: Wear insect repellent.
  • Avoid peak times: Stay indoors at dawn and early evening.
  • Dress right: Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing when outdoors.
  • Keep them outside: Install, repair or replace screens on both windows and doors.

West Nile Virus Symptoms

Know the symptoms of West Nile virus (WNV), which can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Image of a mosquito

  • Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Milder Symptoms in Some People.  Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
  • No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

Get more facts about West Nile virus.

More Information

To Expand: Click the slideshow, then click the square at bottom right.
Or, watch it on Flickr. Click "Show info" at top right to view captions.

Resources

Mosquitoes, West Nile Virus and Repellents
For more information about mosquitoes, download our free reference guide.
More educational materials
Learn more about West Nile virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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