Keeping mosquitos at bay

The Columbus Dispatch

Mosquitoes are considered the world’s deadliest animals, spreading such diseases as the Zika, West Nile and Chikungunya viruses, plus dengue and malaria in various parts of the world.

Anything that holds even a small amount of water for a few days is a perfect place for mosquitoes to breed,” Joe Mazzola, a health commissioner in Franklin County, Ohio, said in a statement. “Once eggs are laid, a new crop of mosquitoes can hatch, grow and emerge from the water as adults in as little as one week.”

Public-health agencies offer these tips for keeping the bugs at bay:

? Empty, remove, cover or turn over containers that can hold water.

? Treat rain barrels with mosquito dunks every month.

? Change the water in wading pools weekly; store indoors when not in use.

? Dispose of old tires.

? Empty planters and bird baths often.

? Empty and refill pets’ watering dishes daily.

? Use sand to plug holes in trees where water can collect.

? Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.

? Make sure that gutters and downspouts are free of leaves and debris and are properly draining.

? Drain or fill low areas on your property that hold water for more than five days.

? Use insect repellent containing DEET.

? Wear protective clothing at dawn or dusk.

? Repair window screens.

It’s important to take measures now, said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Teresa Long.

“Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as Zika and West Nile, so it’s important to eliminate standing water as soon as possible to reduce their growth,” Long said in a statement. “What residents do today will be critical to the number of mosquitoes in our community this summer.”