West Nile Virus Cases Are on the Rise

Mosquito Biting Human Skin

Summit Responsible Solutions offers tips for controlling disease-carrying mosquitoes

It is West Nile virus season again in America, as hot summer weather creates the perfect breeding conditions for disease-carrying mosquitoes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a total of 43 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes (as of Aug. 15). The states with the most human West Nile virus cases this year are Arizona, Texas, California, Mississippi and Louisiana.

West Nile virus — and other deadly and debilitating diseases including Zika virus, yellow fever and dengue fever — are transmitted by the bites of infected mosquitoes. During the warm summer months when mosquitoes are most active, experts say it is important to control mosquito breeding sites to keep mosquito populations down and prevent the spread of disease.

"A crucial part of controlling mosquito-borne viruses is reducing places where mosquitoes can breed," said Jonathan Cohen, mosquito control expert and president of Summit Responsible Solutions (www.summitresponsiblesolutions.com). Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so homeowners need to be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect and stand in their yards and gardens."

Follow these tips to eliminate standing water and reduce mosquito breeding grounds:

  • Dispose of cans, plastic containers, old tires and other items that can collect water
  • Turn over wheelbarrows, buckets and other places that can hold water
  • Empty children's wading pools and birdbaths at least once a week
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, which can become prime mosquito-breeding areas
  • Empty the saucers under ceramic pots at least once a week

Kill mosquito larvae with BTI

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in standing water — in ponds, bird baths, animal watering troughs, stock tanks, neglected swimming pools and rain barrels — use a product that contains BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) such as Mosquito Dunks®. BTI is a naturally occurring bacterium that kills mosquito larvae before they can grow up to become flying, biting, disease-spreading adults. Even though BTI is deadly to mosquito larvae, it is harmless to people, plants, pets, fish, wildlife and beneficial insects.

When a donut-shaped Mosquito Dunk® is placed in standing water, mosquito larvae eat the BTI and quickly die. Each Mosquito Dunk® treats up to 100 square feet of surface water and continually kills mosquito larvae for 30 days or more.

In flood-prone areas, a Mosquito Dunk® can be staked or tied to remain in place. Once flooding occurs, the Dunk™ starts working right away. When flood waters recede, Mosquito Dunks® dry out and the BTI goes dormant until the next flood.

Use Mosquito Dunks® with Mosquito Bits® for complete control

In areas that are difficult to treat with Dunks™, use Mosquito Bits® for complete mosquito larvae control. The small particle Bit™ granules are perfect for areas such as turf tracks, low spots in a yard, plant saucers, tarps on boats or woodpiles, under decks, in tree holes and in tropical plants such as bromeliads that can hold water. Mosquito Bits® granules contain BTI, and the granules can be sprinkled into virtually any place where water can collect. Mosquito Bits® can also be used to kill mosquito larvae in swampy areas and larger areas where water cannot be drained.

In addition, Mosquito Bits® are highly effective as a "shock treatment" where immediate larval control is needed due to an extremely dense population of mosquito larvae. Mosquito Bits® release their active ingredient (BTI) quickly, which provides a fast kill of mosquito larvae. Unlike long-lasting Mosquito Dunks® though, Mosquito Bits® need to be reapplied every 7 to 10 days for maximum mosquito larvae control.

"Once you've reduced mosquito breeding grounds in your backyard and used BTI to kill mosquito larvae, get your neighbors involved in mosquito control, too," said Cohen. "The mosquitoes in one yard can easily travel into the yards of everyone on the block. It's important for the entire neighborhood to take mosquito control seriously."

Mosquito Dunks® and Mosquito Bits® are available at garden centers, hardware stores, farm stores, home centers, mass merchants and online retailers.

Photo Caption:

Mosquito Dunks® and Mosquito Bits® contain a naturally occurring bacterium called BTI that is deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things.

Mosquito Dunks® and Mosquito Bits® are registered trademarks of Summit Chemical Company.

Source: Summit Responsible Solutions


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