Residents Encouraged to Tip ‘n Toss to Prevent Mosquitoes
Public health officials in the Coastal Health District, which includes Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties, are urging residents to clean up around their homes, yards and communities and get rid of unnecessary items that can hold water and turn into mosquito breeding grounds. After every rainfall, tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys and wading pools, and buckets. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out. Mosquitoes can cause disease such as West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Zika virus.
One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of mosquito-borne viruses is controlling the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around the home and in the yard. In addition, 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.
“Controlling the mosquito population has to be a community-wide effort,” said Dr. Diane Weems, District Health Director for the Coastal Health District. “If we all do our part to remove places where mosquitoes can breed and take precautions to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes then we can lessen the risk of getting mosquito-borne diseases.”
It is also important to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20%-30% DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves, long pants and socks to help prevent mosquito bites.