COMMUNITY NEWS

Officials urge caution against mosquito bites

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Fourth of July is just around the corner, but itchy mosquito bites may already be a problem in your neighborhood. In honor of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (June 24-30), Williamson County and Cities Health District and the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) have tips to help you declare independence from those pesky blood-suckers.

Don’t cook up a breeding ground for mosquitoes — follow the 3Ds to keep mosquitoes away:

Drain: Empty standing water containers at least once per week

Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing

Defend: Properly apply an EPA registered repellent such as DEET, picaridin, or IR 3535

Make your yard a mosquito-free zone by: dispose of any tires, which can breed thousands of mosquitoes; drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers; clear roof gutters of debris; clean pet water dishes regularly; check and empty children’s toys; repair leaky outdoor faucets; and change the water in bird baths and fountains at least once a week.

Mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. Their bites can spread diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus. Mosquito-borne diseases do not only affect humans — they also kill countless birds, reptiles and animals each year. Awareness of these parasites — including canine heartworm, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Western Equine Encephalitis — is another important component of mosquito prevention.

For more information visit www.wcchd.org or texaszika.org.

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