Wed | Aug 16, 2017

ZIKV FACTS: Ways to reduce mosquito breeding (Part 2)

Published:Monday | December 28, 2015 | 12:09 PM

The zika virus, which is transmitted mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is now spreading across Latin America and the Caribbean region. Eliminating the mosquito breeding sites is critical to stemming the spread of the virus, which is especially dangerous to infants and pregnant women.

Here is what you can do.

1. EMPTY, DRAIN OR COVER ALL THINGS THAT CAN AND MAY HOLD WATER:
Areas in and around your yard may have spots where rainwater can pool. Barrels and trash cans tend to collect rainwater as well. Old tires, empty bottles, buckets, and other small containers can condense water vapour into tiny pools. Empty and drain all pools of water and cover them up to prevent more water from gathering. Use dirt to fill the hollow spots in your yard.

2. COVER WATER STORAGE CONTAINERS:
Many homes have a water storage container, which is necessary, but be sure to keep them covered at all times. If you practice water harvesting and need your storage drum open to catch the rainwater, then ensure that you use a mesh covering, made of the fine mosquito net material.

3. MAINTAIN SWIMMING POOLS WITH PROPER CARE:
If you have a small plastic pool meant to be used temporarily, make sure you drain all of the water and store it indoors when it is not in use. If you have a yard swimming pool, monitor the chlorine levels regularly and keep the pool clean. Keep it covered where possible.

4. REPAIR OR PREVENT OUTSIDE LEAKS:
Plumbing that runs outside can be affected by exposure to the weather, resulting in minor leaks. Window air conditioners often drip condensation, which can pool on the ground. Dripping outdoor faucets also pool on the ground. Repair these problems to minimise water collection as much as possible.

5. CHANGE WATER COLLECTION PANS FOR PLANT POTS WEEKLY:
When you water your plants, the excess water will run through the soil and collect in the pan/saucer. If you have any outdoor plants, these collection pans are a prime location for mosquitoes to breed. Empty and clean the pans at least once a week, preferably more frequently.

6. CHANGE PET WATER AND CLEAN BIRD BATHS REGULARLY:
Make it a happen to change your pet water regularly each week. Mosquitoes love to breed there. If you have a bird bath outside your house, the stagnant water is also a great place for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Change the water and scrub down the bath at least twice per week.

7. MOW YOUR LAWNS AS OFTEN AS IS POSSIBLE:
Mosquitoes aren't likely to lay eggs in tall grass, but they tend to sit in tall grass for rest and hiding. Keep your grass as short as possible and as frequently as possible.

8. ELIMINATE OR FILL NOOKS, CRANNIES AND HOLES:
If you have a patio or a porch or a paved driveway, there may be small crevices and openings that can harbour mosquitoes and their eggs. Trees in your yard may have holes in their trunks where mosquitoes can reside and breed. Use some filler to fill out those holes and cracks. You can also use sand, especially to fill out the holes in the trees.

yourhealth@gleanerjm.com