It is Mosquito Season Again

By: Alex Zequeira
By: Alex Zequeira

We all hate them. Mosquito's. They're usually good at ruining a barbeque or any other outdoor event.

And with rain projected for this weekend's forecast, mosquitoes are sure to invade neighborhoods all across the area. Mosquitoes may be much more of a nuisance than anything else.

But what people need to keep in mind is that these bugs can transmit several diseases that can affect both humans and animals.

They may be tiny, but mosquitoes can cause very big problems, and every time it rains, there are more of them.

"We are expecting some rain in the near future. Once the rain happens, mosquitoes that laid their eggs in the past, once the water hits them, they will hatch out,” explains Public Health Environmentalist Doug Turnbull.

They can breed virtually anywhere, as long as there is stagnant water. And because blood is where they get their nutrients, mosquitoes can carry several different kinds of diseases.

The most common here in Alabama are Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Saint Louise Encephalitis, and Lacrosse Encephalitis.

All of which can cause lasting brain and nervous system damage, or even death.

There are several ways to protect yourself against mosquitoes, but one of the easiest ways is by yourself bug repellant like Off but you must make sure it contains Deet.

Deet is the active ingredient in bug repellants that coats human skin, creating a shield against mosquitoes.

“It's just offensive to the mosquitoes. They don't want to land anywhere near it, it’s like a bad odor to them, they can't stand it,” Turnbull adds.

People should also wear appropriate cloths for protection. Stay indoors during dusk and dawn, and drain any open containers around their homes, like bird baths, pet watering bowls or ornamental ponds.

The city of Dothan is also fighting to get rid of mosquitoes. Environmental Department Officials use donut shaped tablets in ponds and creeks that prevent mosquitoes from growing.

"What it does is it stops them from becoming airborne before they can fly. Some of their wings fall off, so they never get a chance to come out and bite,” Bernard Ward, Dothan Environmental Services Sup. says.

Just to clear up some misconceptions about mosquitoes, they do not carry AIDS, Leukemia or any strains of Hepatitis.

But people should still take every precaution to keep themselves disease free, and to prevent themselves from getting that itchy feeling.

Environmental Officials here in Dothan also say they will continue to spray for mosquitoes until November or until temperatures drop to around 50 degrees.

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