Farmers are at a greater risk to West Nile Virus because of their constant exposure to the outdoors environment, say health officials. The following are practical strategies for avoiding mosquitoes:

Personal Protection: Clothing and Aromatics

  • Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes to help prevent mosquitoes from reaching the skin and to retain less heat, making yourself less “attractive” to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors.

  • When possible, wear long sleeves and long pants.

  • Avoid perfumes, colognes, fragrant hair sprays, lotions and soaps, all of which attract mosquitoes.

Personal Protection: Repellents

  • Follow label instructions when applying repellents. Permethrin repellents are only for clothes and not for skin.

  • When using repellents, avoid contact with eyes, lips and nasal membranes.

  • Apply DEET repellent on arms, legs, and other exposed areas, but never under clothing.

  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.

Personal Protection: Around the Home

  • Keep windows and door screens in good condition.

  • Replace porch lights with yellow light bulbs that will attract fewer insects.

  • Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Empty all water from old tires, cans, jars, buckets, drums, plastic wading pools, toys and other containers. Clean clogged gutters.

  • Remove the rim from potted plants and replace water in plant/flower vases weekly.

  • Replenish pet watering dishes daily and rinse bird baths twice weekly.

  • Fill tree holes and depressions left by fallen trees with dirt or sand.

  • Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito fish or use larvicide “doughnuts.”