Fight The Bite: Mosquito Prevention in Dallas
The City of Dallas actively monitors for mosquito borne diseases by collecting mosquitoes for testing weekly during their active months. The City conducts mosquito control activities by monitoring known breeding sites, and applying larvicide and stocking gambusia in standing water to control mosquitoes. In the event of mosquitoes or humans testing positive for mosquito borne disease, the City’s Mosquito Control Plan is followed and spraying for adult mosquitoes may be necessary.
For more information on what the City is doing to prevent mosquito borne illness, click here.
Remember the Four D’s:
- DRAIN: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace. Standing water can be found in swimming pools that are not kept clean, ponds, pet watering dishes, birdbaths, potted plants, old tires, empty containers, toys and clogged rain gutters.
- DUSK/DAWN: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. The mosquito that carries the Zika Virus is active during the daytime hours, so be sure to protect yourself at all times.
- DRESS: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
- DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions.
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus (WNV) is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. You can reduce your risk of being infected with WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.
Zika virus (Zika) is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, but sexual transmission of Zika virus is possible. The most common symptoms of Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting several days to a week.
There are currently no reports of Zika virus being locally-transmitted by mosquitoes in Dallas County. However, imported cases make local spread by mosquitoes possible because the mosquitoes that can transmit the virus are found locally. Outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. There is no specific medication available to treat Zika virus and there is not a vaccine. The best ways to avoid Zika virus are to avoid mosquito bites and sexual contact with a person who has Zika virus.
Travelers can protect themselves further by doing the following:
• Choose a hotel or lodging with air conditioning or screens on windows or doors.
• Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are outside or in a room that is not well-screened.
• Sexual partners can protect each other by abstaining from sex or by using condoms consistently and correctly during sex.
Pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant can protect themselves further by taking the following precautions:
- Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
- Pregnant women who do travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
- Pregnant women should discuss their male partner’s potential exposures to mosquitoes and history of Zika-like illness.
- Women trying to become pregnant or who are thinking about becoming pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to areas with active Zika virus transmission, and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
To see countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission, click here.
Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. There is a risk that the virus will be imported to new areas by infected travelers. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
Dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 400 million people are infected yearly. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications and death.
To ensure your home is not a breeding grounds for mosquitoes, follow the below checklist.
Homeowner’s Mosquito Control Checklist: