OSWEGO COUNTY – The Oswego County Public Health Department is reminding people that, although the days are becoming shorter and the temperatures are beginning to dip, mosquitoes are still active, and the threat of mosquito-borne diseases remains until the first hard frost of the season. Residents and visitors to the county must continue to use personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites as they enjoy outdoor activities during the nice weather.
“After aerial spraying and relatively low temperatures, the mosquito population has been reduced and, while people may not see them as frequently, they are still active in the environment until the first heavy frost,” said Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang. “With the nice fall weather, people are out hiking, fishing, and enjoying other outdoor activities. It is very important for them to remain vigilant and continue to follow their personal protection practices and reduce mosquito populations around their homes.”
People are advised to use insect repellents when participating in outdoor activities, wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, socks and shoes when possible, and limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
Insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective. Repellents which contain permethrin are meant for clothing and gear and should not be applied directly to the skin. Read the product label for repellents and follow package instructions.
The Oswego County Health Department also advises people to reduce the mosquito habitat around their homes. They need to repair or replace window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside and reduce or eliminate all standing water such as:
• Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flowerpots, and similar water-holding containers.
• Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
• Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs, and drain pool covers.
• Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
• Clear roof gutters and be sure they drain properly.
• Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
• Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
• Dispose of old tires. Used tires are a significant mosquito breeding site and are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Call the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
For more information about protecting your family against mosquitoes, call the Oswego County Health Department at 315-349-3557 or visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2731/.