Photo courtesy UTEP
As a result of the recent heavy rains, officials with the Department of Public Health are urging residents to drain all standing water around their home to prevent mosquito breeding, avoid mosquito bites and prevent disease.
“Mosquitos breed by laying eggs in and near standing water, so residents are urged to drain items in their yard that hold standing water,” DPH officials reminded.
Residents are asked to also empty, clean and refill their pets water bowls with fresh water daily to prevent mosquito breeding in their water bowls.
Any water that cannot be drained should be treated with mosquito dunks or similar products which are available at home and garden centers.
“As little as one teaspoon or bottle cap of water standing for more than one week is enough for mosquitoes to breed and multiply,” officials added.
Possible breeding grounds include:
- clogged rain gutters
- open trash bins
- potted plant saucers
- kiddie pools
- neglected pools
- bird baths
- toys and wagons
- old tires
Certain individuals are at higher risk of developing serious illnesses from the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus such as the elderly and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants.
Other mosquito-borne diseases that have yet to present local cases, but threaten our community’s health include Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue. All can have devastating effects on those who are infected.
At present there is no scientific evidence to suggest mosquitoes spread COVID-19.
El Pasoans can also help “fight the bite” by using these prevention methods:
- DEET – Use insect repellents that contain DEET when outdoors.
- DRESS – Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
- DUSK & DAWN – Although mosquitoes associated with Zika can be active throughout the day, residents should take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours (from dusk to dawn) or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
- DRAIN – Drain standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, and birdbaths. After rains or lawn watering, residents are asked to “tip and toss” any standing water they find outside.