- Mosquitos are actually nectar-feeders; only females feed on blood to support reproduction.
- Adult female mosquitos usually live 2 weeks to 1 month; males last about a week.
- Mosquitos have been known to fly up to 3 miles, with the help of the wind.
- Several different species of mosquito can carry West Nile virus.
- 4 out of 5 people infected with West Nile virus will show no symptoms; 1 out of every 150 infected people will develop severe infection which is sometimes deadly.
- Spray Baby Spray! Permethrin is a common pesticide (alters nerve function by changing the nerve membrane sodium channels) sprayed to kill adult mosquitos. It is also highly toxic to bees.
- Dump that water! One of the best ways to prevent West Nile infection is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas. From the CDC: “Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.” Remember, mosquitos only need about 1 tablespoon of water to breed.
- Fashion-forward! Long sleeves and long pants help to reduce mosquito bites, as does bug repellent. It used to be that you could avoid being outside during dawn and dusk and you’d avoid mosquitos, but many of the mosquitos that carry West Nile fly during the day
- Increase bird biodiversity! A recent study, reported on NPR, has shown that increased bird biodiversity can actually decrease the occurrence of the disease. So keep planting those native plants and welcoming birds to your yard!
CDC Webpage, Division of Vector Born Diseases. West Nile Virus. 2012. Last updated 9/18/2012. Accessed 9/24/2012. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm
EPA Website. Permethrin RED Fact Sheet. Last Updated June 2006. Accessed 9/24/12. http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/permethrin_fs.htm
National Center for Biotechnology Information website. 2012. Pubmed Health. Accessed 9/24/12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0004457/
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. West Nile virus webpage. 2012. Accessed 9/24/12. http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/wnv/wnvfaq16.shtml
WAMU 88.5 Website. 2012. Bird biodiversity could be key to stopping West Nile. Accessed 9/24/12. http://wamu.org/news/morning_edition/12/09/13/bird_biodiversity_could_be_key_to_stopping_west_nile (photo is also from this website)