by Marlene Stalker, El Paso Master Gardener
Editor’s Note: El Paso has seen new cases of West Nile virus this summer. The article below covers how to control mosquitos and how to protect yourself. Standing water needs to be drained or dumped since mosquitos can complete their life cycle in only a small amount of water in as little as four days, although two weeks is more common.
Mosquito-transmitted diseases are on our radar now more than ever. The bite of an infected mosquito can spread West Nile virus, chikungunya, dengue, and Zika. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s “Mosquito Safari” is an interactive audio-visual website that takes you around a house and neighborhood to learn where mosquitoes will breed so they can be eliminated. The website also discusses mosquito-borne diseases and how to control them.
Below, there are links to fact sheets from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to answer some of the more common Zika questions. Read them to learn how to protect yourself from mosquitoes and prevent the spreading of disease.
- How to Prevent Mosquito Bites – A short reminder of the 4-Ds, the four ways to avoid mosquito bites. A quick safety reminder with links to more articles.
- What Texans Need to Know about Zika Virus (Spanish version link) – General information about Zika, what causes it, whether you should be worried, and how to stop it.
- Zika Precautions for Women – A new publication outlining the most important steps women can take to protect themselves and their unborn children from Zika.
- DIY Backyard Mosquito Control – An overview of all the mosquito control options available to consumers, including hiring a professional. Advantages and disadvantages of each option are listed, including what we know and don’t know about the many products out there. (Spoiler alert: don’t buy bug zappers for mosquito control–they don’t kill many mosquitoes)
- Mosquito Safari – Resources (Repellent advice and videos on control)
- ¡Lárguense! 4 Maneras de Evitar Las Picaduras de Mosquitos
- El Virus Zika