Still Wading Through West Nile Virus Woes & How to Protect Yourself
As our indian summer extends into the edge of autumn so does the prevalence of West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes. Since August, many areas across the country have taken action by land and aerial pesticide applications to prevent this activity and breeding of these mosquitoes.
They have been using Allethrins which are a pair of related synthetic compounds used in insecticides. They are synthetic Pyrethroids, a synthetic form of a chemical found in the chrysanthemum flower. However, don’t let the fact it is derived form a “flower” blindside you into thinking Pyrethroids aren’t toxic to animals and humans. The fact is, they ARE toxic. So, as this warm summer weather lingers on, it is important for you to know how to reduce the prevalence of mosquitoes around your home and protect yourself and your family. Here are a few basics to know and then some action steps you can take.
TIPS TO FIGHT THE BITE!
FACT A: The breeds of mosquito that most likely carry West Nile Virus tend to be most active around dawn and dusk.
- TIP #1 If you are outdoors during those hours wear long sleeves and long pants. Check your clothing material when you come indoors to ensure mosquitoes are not transporting themselves on your clothes into your home.
- Tip #2 People who spend time outdoors during those hours can protect themselves by wearing NON-TOXIC mosquito repellent such as All Terrain Mosquito Repellant . I love this stuff and they also have a version for kids. This is clinically tested for efficacy and is non-toxic. Mosquito repellants that contain DEET (such as OFF!) are toxic to the central nervous system, endocrine system and immune system. Those especially vulnerable are children, women of childbearing age, pregnant women, elders and the immune compromised.
FACT B: “A million mosquitoes amidst a puddle”. All it takes is a little standing water and you are inviting trouble. A million mosquito larvae can be found in a partially-filled neglected swimming pool. It's not a question of the volume of water. Mosquitoes breathe at the surface.
- TIP #1: Prevent the occurrence and spread of mosquitoes, by NOT leaving standing water on your property, such as "out-of-use" swimming pools and dishes under potted plants.
- TIP #2: Avoid watering in the early morning and early eve whereas it leaves moisture on the ground in those hours.
- TIP# 3: If you have a fish pond or any contained pond of water, "Mosquito Fish" are an efficient and ecological way of dealing with the mosquito larvae. The fish eat the larvae! Just call your local “Mosquito Abatement Agency” and they will drop off the mosquito fish to your home for free!.
FACT C: The pesticides being used by Vector Control Units in various areas are toxic. They are from a family of pesticides called Pyrethroids. They have impact on the central nervous system, immune system and endocrine system. Those particularly at risk are infants, children, pregnant women (+ their fetus), elders and the immune compromised.
- TIP #1: If they are spraying near you get a Medical Grade Hepa Filter that also removes pesticides from your home air. Austin Air has clinically tested devices that are very efficient at removing pesticides in your immediate air environment in your home.
- TIP#2: To protect the periphery of your home you can use a natural mosquito deterrent derived from garlic. It is called Mosquito Barrier. This stuff really works. All you do is spray it around the periphery of your home outside and it controls ticks too!
I hope this has helped you if you are still dealing with the woes of the West Nile Virus in your area. The truth of the matter is you CAN help control this issue in your immediate environment and “fight the bite” without toxic pesticides.
To get current information about the status of West Nile Virus in your area call your local Vector Control Unit.
As always, may you be well and thrive!
Contra Costa County Vector Control