Preparing For The Mosquito Season

Communities in the central and southern portions of Indiana, including most of Jackson County, have been directly impacted by the heavy rains and flooding. As the waters recede and the air warms up, the conditions favorable for a large mosquito population and possible transmission of disease, becomes a concern.
“As the flood waters recede and river levels drop, standing pools of water offer a much greater opportunity for breeding mosquitoes to lay eggs,” said Paul Ramsey of the Jackson County health Department. “We strongly encourage residents to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”
Floodwater/nuisance mosquitoes (Aedes vexans, Aedes trivittatus, and Psorophora ferox, etc.) are species which can cause a great deal of discomfort, but do not transmit disease. The nuisance mosquitoes tend to bite during the day and early evening, just before dusk and require still, stagnate water pools to reproduce.
Containers of standing water such as rain gutters, discarded tires, buckets, abandoned swimming pools and decorative “frog ponds” can quickly become home to these nuisance-type biters, but can also become a haven for the Culex mosquito, a night time biter which has been known to carry the West Nile virus. The Culex populations will start to grow and its population will peak by mid August, which is normally the height of the West Nile Virus transmission season.
Homeowners should take responsibility for their own properties to aid in the elimination of many of these mosquito-producing environments. Residents are encouraged to:
•Dispose of old tires, plastic containers, ceramic pots or other unused containers that can hold water
•Repair failed septic system and eliminate standing pools of water or low-lying areas
•Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with predatory fish
•Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed.
Other areas, such as catch basins in cities and towns, sewage lagoons and ground water pools rich in organic matter such as septic effluent can produce large numbers of Culex and are best handled by municipal or county authorities.
The Jackson County Health Department Mosquito Program will be treating and/or fogging areas of mass gatherings around the county as well as other targeted areas as needed from now until the mosquito activity decreases.
Individuals can report neighborhood mosquito problems by calling the Health Department at 522-6474.
General information on mosquito control and a list of mosquito control products available in our area can be obtained by visiting the Health Department office at 801 W. 2nd Street in Seymour. If needed, a survey of property and suggestions for appropriate actions to resolve the mosquito problem can be arranged.
Residents should do all that they can to protect themselves, family, pets and neighbors from mosquitoes. Individuals can do their part to keep themselves safer from mosquito bites by:
•Using an insect repellant that contains DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus
•Wearing shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time or from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Clothing should be light colored and made of tightly woven materials to keep mosquitoes away. Pant legs should be tucked into shoes or socks and collars should be buttoned.
•Mosquito netting should be used when sleeping outdoors in an unscreened structure.
For more information on mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus, visit the Indiana State Department of Health web site at www.in.gov/isdh and click on “West Nile Virus” or contact the local health department.