People are scrambling to figure out the best way to fight back against Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that carries Zika, Dengue, Yellow Fever, and other tropical illnesses. Right now, eliminating standing water, checking your bedroom, and keeping your house cool are thought to help (but aren’t 100% airtight prevention).
While everyone pays attention to the new threat, don’t forget there’s a lot you can do about an old one: West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes across the country (in a far greater span than Zika may currently be able to reach) test positive for West Nile every year, and it’s a mosquito that we can really fight against.
You’ve probably seen PSAs about preventing West NIle virus, and not much has changed despite new warnings about what to do!
-Don’t let pools of water around your house get stale. Think about ones you want: bird baths, pet water bowls, and ponds, and replace/fresh the water daily (or figure out a way to keep it moving). This gets rid of places mosquitoes reproduce (if you’re in a region fighting Zika, go for 0 standing water). Then think about places in your yard water might pool because of rain or sprinklers and get rid of them.
-Wear bug spray. Works against all kinds of mosquitoes, as well as ticks, too! And wearing long sleeves and pants works for all biters, too.
-Think twice about encouraging birds. If you’re just a passive bird lover, or won’t have time this summer, maybe put away bird feeders, fountains, and houses for a while. Birds spread West Nile to mosquitoes, and West Nile is more likely to pop up near water where both birds and mosquitoes congregate. If you’re set on bird watching, work harder to keep water fresh.
-You can also dodge West Nile by avoiding dawn and dusk (Zika mosquitoes are active all day).
It’s estimated that current West Nile cases are under-reported, so take some initiative to watch for symptoms:
-Sometimes, a rash
In more severe cases:
You can always add an extra layer of protection by supporting your immune system with colloidal silver. Keep in mind, pets can get West Nile, too. If your dogs or cats spend a lot of time outside, consider giving them a little immune support in their water bowl with a few drops of colloidal silver.
Share your mosquito tips in the comments: