COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – The West Central Health District and the Columbus Health Department is urging residents to clean up around their homes, their yards, and discard unnecessary items that can hold water as the mosquito population is on the rise.
After every rainfall, tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children's toys and wading pools, and buckets to reduce the number of mosquitoes and prevent the spread of Mosquito Borne illnesses such as Zika Virus, West Nile Virus and others.
As of now, no locally transmitted Zika cases have been reported in Georgia, but cases have been reported in returning travelers.
Look for small bodies of water such as drainage ponds, tree stumps, and tire ruts. Clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes.
For containers without lids or that are too big to Tip 'N Toss (bird baths, garden pools), use larvicides such as mosquito dunks or mosquito torpedoes and follow the label instructions. Larvicides will not hurt birds or animals.
Homeowners associations and neighborhoods, along with city and county governments, are encouraged to sponsor community cleanup days.
It is also important to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20 percent to 30 percent DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves, long pants, and socks to help prevent mosquito bites.
Learn more about mosquito bite prevention and the Tip 'n Toss initiative at the following sites: