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I know, I know…this isn’t my typical style, but it is when I am working out in the yard.  I am here today to encourage all of you to take mosquitoes seriously and learn how to build a barrier between you and this pesky little bug.

I am born and bred Texan…battling mosquitoes my entire life.  But, it does appear that the dangers have increased for mosquito-borne diseases such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and Chikungunya virus and dengue fever.  Some people may experience mild symptoms for the diseases if contracted, but they may also become a carrier for the disease and put people around them at a higher risk of contracting the disease.

It needs to be taken seriously whether you are working in your own yard, traveling around Texas or other places where mosquito-borne diseases are a problem, or inviting your grandchildren over to play in the yard.  Clothing becomes a suit of armor this time of year, because it really is a war out there against the bugs when they begin to swarm.

We recently had our grandchildren at our house for the seven days of spring break.  They decided to play in the backyard in one of the little plastic pools (after all, the oldest needed an ocean for his new shark toy to swim in). We emptied it when they left but allowed it to sit up for several days and it rained over those days.  This is what I discovered in our backyard days later.  Remember to continually empty any vessel which might hold water, or you are breeding mosquitoes…like I am sure we were doing!

Here are some thoughts for those of you in this audience…Texan or not…:

Declare WAR on mosquitoes:

  • Wear long sleeves and pants
  • Apply EPA-approved insect repellent
  • Remove standing water

TRAVELERS

 

  • People who are traveling to areas known to have mosquito-borne diseases should take preventive steps, such as wearing long sleeves, pants and EPA-approved insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites while traveling, and for 21 days after returning to the United States (per the CDC).
  • Men and women also should consider using condoms every time they have sex or not have sex while traveling to areas with risk of Zika.

 

OLDER ADULT POPULATION

 

  • People with weakened immune systems are at an increased risk for developing symptoms of Wile Nile virus, and people older than 50 have the highest risk of severe disease.
  • Prevent mosquito bites by taking simple steps such as wearing long sleeves, pants and EPA-approved insect repellent.

GARDENERS/OUTDOOR

 

  • In addition to your apparel, another way to create physical barriers between you and mosquitoes is to keep doors and windows closed and/or install window screens. If there’s a hole in the screen that needs quick repair, a common household item, like duct tape, is a good, low-cost solution.
  • Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of water, making even small amounts of standing water a breeding ground for mosquitoes. It is important to be aware of common household objects or things that can be found in your garden that can collect this standing water and dump it.

 

ATHLETES

 

  • You can protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites while being active outdoor by creating barriers between you and mosquitoes. You can do this by making sure your fitness wardrobe includes light-weight, long-sleeve shirts, long pants and tall socks.

 

We need to all take this seriously…so let this serve as a reminder to build barriers between you and the mosquitoes.

 

The Texas Department of State Health Services wants this on the minds of Texans, so let’s start now.   Better to be safe…..

 

Also, forget you saw this outfit…it’s about the yard work, people!

 

KEEP SMILING!

 

 

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post but the words and images are my own

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