Adventures aren’t the only thing you’ll find outside as the weather warms up: It’s officially mosquito season. Austin Public Health is urging the public to be aware of the dangers of mosquito bites and protect themselves and their loved ones from mosquitoes this year.
In the warmer weather in the spring, summer and fall, mosquitoes breed throughout Austin and surrounding areas. While their bites are itchy and annoying, mosquitoes pose a much greater threat to people by spreading disease.
Mosquitoes may carry diseases that contribute to outbreaks of Zika, West Nile, dengue fever, encephalitis and canine heartworm. Just last year, Austin-Travis County saw one case of West Nile in a patient and identified six positive mosquito pools throughout the county.
“I know many are excited to be spending time outdoors for the next several months – take a few steps to make sure you’re celebrating safely,” said Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes. “Clearing out standing water, using repellant and wearing long sleeves and pants will help keep the buzz away.”
Fight the Bite Day and Night with the Four Ds:
Dusk and dawn: Although different species of mosquitos are active at different times of day, the species that spread West Nile Virus are most active between dusk and dawn.
Dress: Wear pants and long sleeves when you are outside. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing; mosquito repellent clothing is also available
DEET: Apply insect repellent that contains DEET. Read and follow label instructions. Spray both exposed skin and clothing with repellent. Find the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of repellents here.
Drain: Get rid of standing water in your yard and neighborhood. Old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, birdbaths and wading pools can be breeding sites for mosquitos.
Don’t let mosquitoes ruin your fun this summer. You can learn more about keeping you and your loved ones safe from mosquitoes at austintexas.gov/mosquitoes.