Wet Conditions Prompt Mosquito Population Growth

The recent wet weather has helped the mosquito population quickly grow.

According to the Salina-Saline County Health Department, mosquitoes have more places to breed this year, due to recent rains and flooding. West Nile Virus and other diseases can be spread by mosquito bites.

The department reminds the public to take precautions to protect themselves and family members from mosquito bites:

* Use effective insect repellent with DEET or Picaridin on skin (follow product directions and reapply as needed).
* Wear protective clothing when practical (long sleeves and pants).
* Limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
* Repair screens or other areas of your home where mosquitoes might enter.
* Refresh water for bird baths, pet bowls, and wading pools at least every three days.
* Remove standing water on your property. (Stagnant water is a common breeding site for mosquitoes. Check your yard twice a week for standing water in flowerpots, buckets, barrels, gutters, tire swings, old tires or rubbish piles).
* Use larvaecide in water that cannot be removed.
* Offer to assist elderly neighbors and others who are unable to take preventive actions.

Altosid briquettes are available for purchase to treat standing water on private property. Altosid is an insect growth regulator, which prevents mosquitoes from hatching; and is more effective than fogging. It is not harmful to humans, fish, or other animals. Altosid is effective for 30 wet days.

The briquettes are available for purchase by the public for $1 each, at the Salina-Saline County Health Department Environmental Offices, 148 N. Oakdale in Salina. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM-4:30 PM. Call 826-6604 for more information.

Saline County Road & Bridge treats catch basins, roadside ditches & similar low-lying areas of standing water in the county.