Tips for Avoiding Zika

STEPHENVILLE – The mosquitoes-transmitted Zika virus is a potential threat to the health of unborn babies in Texas and other states, and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has stepped up efforts to educate the public on ways to protect themselves from this new menace, said agency entomologists.

“While people enjoy outdoor activities and travel this summer, it’s important to remember that our first line of defense against Zika is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes,” said Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension entomologist at Stephenville. “The Aedes aegypti and A. albopictus mosquitoes that transmit Zika occur commonly in our backyards where their eggs are laid and larvae live in standing water. Like other mosquitoes species, they are active at sunrise and sunset, but commonly bit throughout the day as well.”

Swiger said it’s important to remember the “Four Ds” as a first line of defense. They are:

-Drain: Empty standing water, thus eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

-Dress: Put on long sleeved shirts and pants when going outside.

-Defend: Apply mosquito repellent when going outside.

-Dusk & Dawn: Avoid outdoor activity during these two most mosquito-active periods.