Friday, May 31, 2013

Oakland County offers mosquito reduction advice

Mosquitoes are in good supply this year, mostly due to the abundance of rain we've received. (Remember that's a good thing for the plants.)
Along with reducing mosquito habitat, there are a number of natural products that can help protect people from bites. I haven't tried any, but am looking into it.
Here's an organic bug repellent with rosemary oil, cinnamon leaf oil, lemongrass oil and geraniol:

Herbal Bug-X from North American Herb & Spice is a non-toxic spray that repels bugs using a mix of wild oregano oil, bay leaf oil, lavendar oil and oil of basil.

The Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) offers tips to help keep mosquito populations low to help reduce the risk of West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne diseases.
· Eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home. Empty standing water from flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, old tires, buckets, barrels, cans, and similar items where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
· Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or other EPA-approved ingredient to exposed skin or clothing, always following the manufacturer's directions for use.
· Avoid shaded and wooded areas where mosquitoes may be present.
· Wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors.
· Limit outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
· Maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
· Report a sick or dead bird, or mammal, at the State of Michigan Emerging Disease Issues webpage, Select West Nile Virus, then How to Report a Dead Bird or Mammal.
“It can take less than 10 days for mosquito eggs to develop into adult mosquitoes,” said Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of OCHD.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a virus spread to humans through the bite of a mosquito that is infected with WNV after biting a bird that carries the virus. Most people infected with WNV have either no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache and body aches. However, in some individuals, mostly the elderly, a much more serious disease affecting the brain tissue can develop. For more information, visit the Oakland County Health Division.

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