It’s not always possible to ensure our children’s safety when they’re out in the world, but it’s a different story when they’re at home — that’s where we do all we can to protect them. If you’re concerned about your kids being exposed to mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, the best thing you can do is arm yourself with knowledge. Here’s what you need to know to help ensure your family stays safe.
Get rid of all standing water.
The first and most important thing you can do is eliminate the spots where mosquitoes breed. What you may have heard about how little water they need to breed is true: A bottle cap’s worth of standing water is enough! Scour your yard for these potential mosquito nurseries:
· Flower pots and their trays
· Gutters that may be clogged
· Kiddie pools, toys, and pet water dishes
· Construction or project debris, such as cans, old paint trays or buckets
· Garden tools
· Birdbaths or non-working fountains
· Tire swings
Don’t forget indoors, too — a forgotten vase of flowers in the corner may have just enough standing water to give mosquitoes a chance to breed right inside your home. Check your laundry room for drips that leave small puddles as well. Make sure door and window screens don’t have any holes or tears, even tiny ones.
Don’t attract mosquitoes.
Take the time to protect your family before heading out to the yard:
· Stay covered! Wear socks and shoes, long pants, and long sleeves. Choose light colors, and breathable fabrics when temperatures are warm.
· Insect repellents are very effective and safe when they’re properly applied. Follow this advice from the Centers for Disease Control, which includes tips for babies and children.
· You can buy clothing and gear that’s been pre-treated with permethrin (which is not for use on skin) or treat items yourself with permethrin.
Keep up with the latest news.
The numbers on the Zika virus are constantly being monitored. Here’s a helpful Zika tracker web page that will keep you up to date on where the disease is being reported in Florida.
CBS’s 60 Minutes program recently aired “What’s Being Done to Fight the Zika Virus,” a very informative report on the spread of the Zika virus and the U.S. government’s work to control it.
Have your property treated by licensed professionals.
For the most complete protection, consider mosquito treatments from pest control professionals. You can expect them to inspect your property, apply the most effective products, and tailor their treatments to what you and your family need.
With the combination of a pest control pro and your own efforts at home, you’ll be able to enjoy Orlando’s great weather with greater peace of mind.