Remember to Tip ‘n Toss
Posted: September 06, 2016 by Courtney Sheeley
Now that Tropical Storm Hermine has moved through the state, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is reminding Georgians that any standing water creates a prime habitat for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Tip ‘n Toss after the storm to reduce the number of mosquitoes and prevent the spread of Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illness.
It is extremely important to take safety precautions before heading out to clean up after the storm.
“Watch out for debris and downed power lines and places where the ground is washed away,” said Patrick O’Neal, M.D., director of Health Protection at the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Protect yourself from mosquito bites by using insect repellent and wearing long pants, long sleeves and socks when you are outside.”
DPH recommends using EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20%-30% DEET or Picaridin, IR3535 and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Follow all label instructions for safe and effective use. Wear light colored clothing with long sleeves, long pants and socks to help prevent mosquito bites.
Zika virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes – both species are found in Georgia. Aedes mosquitoes typically bite during the day, especially in the early morning and late afternoon hours but some bite at night. They are called “container breeders” because they lay eggs in any type of container with water – even something as small as a bottle cap if it has water in it
One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of mosquito-borne disease, including Zika virus, is controlling the mosquito population. Tip ‘n Toss around your home and yard. After every rainfall, tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys and wading pools, and buckets. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out.
For containers that are too big to Tip ‘N Toss (bird baths, garden pools), use larvicides such as mosquito dunks or mosquito torpedoes and follow the label instructions. Used properly, larvicides will not hurt birds or animals.
To date, there are no reported cases of Zika being spread by mosquitoes in Georgia, but there have been more than 70 confirmed travel-related cases of Zika in the state since January.