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Experts Urge Residents to Protect Against Mosquitoes

Chattanooga, Tenn. —Experts are hoping residents take extra precaution against the many mosquitoes that have recently cropped up in the area.

undefinedNoting that plenty of these unwelcome guests are expected to join residents as they celebrate the Fourth of July this weekend with various outdoor activities, experts say it is important to take steps to prevent unnecessary bites.

Mosquitoes are on the march thanks to recent weather patterns in the state, said Brad Ledford, owner of Mosquito Squad of Chattanooga.

“We’ve had a lot of afternoon thunderstorms pop up, and we’ve also had a lot of weekend’s where it’s been raining quite a bit,” he said. ”When you have a lot of rain and a lot of warm weather that’s just breeding and just a formula for mosquitoes.”

One of the main species Ledford said he has seen so far this season is the Asian tiger mosquito, one of the more aggressive types that carries disease.

The Asian tiger mosquito breeds in containers, so Ledford suggested getting rid of any standing water that could be located near homes and other places people frequent. Often, standing water can be found in places where it can easily puddle, such as children’s toys, bird baths and house gutters.

For those mosquitoes that have already hatched and are looking for food, Ledford said there are many simple ways to prevent being bitten.

“Wear light colors, wear long-sleeve shirts and long-sleeve pants,” he said. “If you’re going out and have to be out, do wear some sort of DEET-based repellant that you can spray your socks, you can spray your neck and your cuffs.”

In addition to DEET, repellents with lemon eucalyptus or picaridin also are effective, he said, although they need to be reapplied more often.

Experts are stepping up their efforts to warn residents about mosquitoes following recent reports that there have been at least four cases of malaria and two case of dengue fever in Tennessee this year.

In 2012, there were 11 cases of malaria and six of dengue fever. All involved travel outside of the United States, providing evidence that mosquito-borne illnesses continue to be a serious health threat.

“Mosquitoes aren’t simply a backyard nuisance,” said Dr. John Dreyzehner, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health. “They are potential carriers of many life-threatening diseases. This has always been the case in many areas of the world with diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, and now West Nile virus, causing suffering and sometimes death. We all have a responsibility to reduce mosquito breeding areas near our homes to protect our neighbors and ourselves.”

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Source: The Murfreesboro Post

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