Mosquitoes carry diseases like Zika, West Nile virus, Chikungunya, Dengue and Yellow fever. The most important prevention measure that Prescott residents can take is removing standing water from around your property. The mosquito that is specific to Yavapai County and transmits most mosquito-borne diseases is called the Aedes aegypti (ae). This type of mosquito will not travel very far from its home for a blood meal, or “mosquito bite,” therefore, as opportunities for reproduction around Prescott properties are removed, the chance of being bit is also dramatically reduced. Mosquitoes need water to reproduce so by removing all standing water we also remove the breeding grounds. Items like water dishes, bird baths, tires, and anything that can hold as little as an inch of water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Other prevention tips from Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) include:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
- Always follow the product label instructions.
- Reapply insect repellent as directed.
- Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.
- Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age.
- Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, or cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
- Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
- Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
- Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items. Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings depending on product information. If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully. Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.