Preventing mosquito bites

Press Release

Mosquito's are biting and West Nile virus activity is becoming more widespread.   Dr. Zsolt Koppányi, District Health Director, suggests residents get out and enjoy the outdoors, but protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. West Nile virus can cause serious, life-altering and even fatal disease.

The following are also key prevention steps to avoid mosquito bites and breeding areas:

Use Mosquito Repellent and Wear Protective Clothing
Koppányi advises residents to wear long sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors in mosquito prone areas, especially in the early morning and evening.  CDC recommends the use of products containing active ingredients which have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing.  EPA registration of repellent active ingredients indicates the materials have been reviewed and approved for efficacy and human safety when applied according to the instructions on the label.  Those who use these products should pay close attention to usage labels and follow the directions closely.  Products containing these active  ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection:

  • DEET (Chemical Name: N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diethly-3-methyl-benzamide)
  • Picaridin (KBR 3023, Chemical Name: 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylic acid 1-methylpropyl ester )
  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus* or PMD (Chemical Name: para-Menthane-3,8-diol) the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • IR3535 (Chemical Name: 3-[N-Butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester)

Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs
Help reduce the number of mosquitoes in areas outdoors where you work or play, by draining sources of standing water. In this way, you reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed.

  • At least twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans.
  • Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.
  • Remove discarded tires, and other items that could collect water.
  • Be sure to check for containers or trash in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or under your home.

Install or Repair Window and Door Screens
Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having well-fitting screens on both windows and doors. Offer to help neighbors whose screens might be in bad shape.

Report unusually high numbers of mosquitoes to your local health department
In Columbus, the health department  conducts routine mosquito prevention and control  to limit  the number of mosquitoes.  Residents can call the Environmental Health Division at (706) 321-6170 to report unusually high numbers of mosquitoes. 

For more information, contact the Columbus Health Department at (706) 321-6108.