It’s the Ones You Don’t Hear…
That’s what they say, anyway. Only the female mosquitos bite (since they need your blood to reproduce), and they don’t make that whining noise when they fly- only the males do. I don’t know if that’s true or not, having no interest in checking the mosquitos buzzing around me for gender.
By educating your workers to take the safety precautions in this article, you will not only help them avoid illness for themselves and their family, but may also avoid sick workers and lost work time.
Its Not About Comfort
Ensuring mosquito-free work and recreation is more than just a quest for unhindered relaxation. Mosquitoes can carry several harmful diseases, which include malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever. Here in the United States, the two main diseases are:
These diseases can be minor or severe, sometimes even leading to coma or death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are around 300 to 1,500 cases of encephalitis and between 650 and 1,400 cases of West Nile Virus each year.
Train your workers to recognize the symptoms for encephalitis and West Nile Virus, which are often similar and can develop between 3 days and 14 days after a mosquito bite. They include:
- Body aches
- Swollen lymph glands
- Skin rash
- Neck stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Vision loss
Urge employees to seek treatment if they have these symptoms after being bitten by mosquitoes.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Instruct workers to take these precautions—at work and at home—to avoid mosquito-borne diseases:
- Cover skin—particularly in the morning and evening when mosquitoes are most active—by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.
- Don’t wear perfume or cologne, which may attract mosquitoes.
- Use insect repellent with DEET on skin that is not covered by clothing. The more DEET a repellent contains, the longer time it can protect from mosquito bites, with protection times ranging from 1 hour (4.75% DEET) to 5 hours (23.8% DEET).
- Spray insect repellent on clothing, because it’s possible for mosquitoes to bite through thin clothing.
- Don’t spray aerosol or pump products in enclosed areas or directly on the face. Spray on hands and carefully rub on face, avoiding contact with eyes and mouth.
- Use soap and water to wash skin that has been treated with insect repellent after returning indoors.
Keep Mosquitoes Away
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, so explain to your workers how to mosquito-proof their outdoor work area and home yard by getting rid of standing water.
- Don’t leave containers that can accumulate water in an uncovered or upright position, including wheelbarrows, drums, buckets, cans, and tarps.
- Put holes in containers that can’t be covered to drain water.
- Drain or pump out collected water from rain gutters and ditches.
- Fill in potholes, patches, and other areas where water can accumulate.
- Unclog roof gutters.
- Change water in animal feeders every few days.
- Heavy rains create prime breeding grounds locally for mosquitoes (naplesnews.com)
- West Nile virus appears in southern Utah (fox13now.com)
- Garden Myth ~ Citronella Geranium vs 5 Easy to Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants that Work (auntiedogmasgardenspot.wordpress.com)
- Mosquito Control While Camping: Dos and Don’ts (insects.answers.com)
- West Nile Virus found in Nature Preserve in Los Angeles County (blogpestcontrol.com)
- Dead birds found in Merced have West Nile (mercedsunstar.com)
- West Nile virus season starts early (modbee.com)