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Health officials continue to stress to, "Put Your DEET On"

PROVO, Utah (June 3, 2015) -- As the summer weather warms, mosquito populations are starting to hatch. The Utah County Mosquito Abatement Division has begun control measures, including treating open bodies of water for larva and spraying to for adult mosquitos.

"We don't want residents to be concerned when they see spray trucks in their neighborhoods," said Bob Mower, Mosquito Abatement director. "We use a pyrethrum based spray that was originally extracted from chrysanthemums, and is very effective but also safe for people and pets." Mower also adds that as the summer season progresses, aerial spraying around the lake will begin. "They typically flyer from 9 p.m. to midnight in areas of heavy vegetation near the lake. We just want to let the community know it is supposed to be there."

Mower said that while spraying by Utah County Mosquito Abatement staff does help reduce the number of mosquitos in an area, personal vigilance is the key to preventing spread of the virus. Prevention measures include:

  • Mosquitoes are most active during dusk to dawn periods.
    • Cover up by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks.
    • Use mosquito repellents with DEET. Follow product directions for children and how often it should be applied.
  • Eliminate standing water in tires or similar water-holding containers as these may serve as mosquito breeding sites.
  • Mosquito proof your home - eliminate standing water where mosquitos can breed. Change the water in birdbaths at least weekly.
    • Treat ornamental pools and ponds for mosquito larvae (commercial products available at most home improvement stores).
    • Repair leaky faucets and springs.
    • Clean clogged rain gutters and down spouts.

Mower said that only about 20 percent of people that get WNV experience symptoms. "Most of these cases are relatively mild, and limited to fever which initially may be confused with our resent flu outbreak," he said. Miner cautions though, that West Nile virus can be serious, leading to long term health issues and even death. "Why take chances when it is so easy to just put on insect repellant?"

For information about WNV or Utah County mosquito abatement efforts, either visit Mosquito Abatement link or call 801-851-7637. The Utah County Health Department seeks to promote health, and prevent avoidable disease and injury by monitoring the health of our community, and assuring conditions in which people can be healthy.