MOSQUITO SEASON BEGINS IN HENDRICKS COUNTY

Hendricks County Health Department

MOSQUITO SEASON BEGINS IN HENDRICKS COUNTY
Warm, wet weather means taking steps now to prevent mosquito breeding
HENDRICKS COUNTY – As warm and wet weather hits Hendricks County and central Indiana, public health officials from the Hendricks County Health Department want to remind residents to take steps now to prevent mosquito breeding and mosquito-borne disease on their property.
“Our mild winter this year has enabled mosquitoes to begin emerging earlier than normal. Now is the time to prepare for mosquito season so we can stop their breeding and help prevent cases of mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus” says Julie Haan, Director of Environmental Health at the Hendricks County Health Department.
Residents can help prevent mosquitoes by getting rid of breeding areas on their property:

Repair failed septic systems
 Dispose of or regularly empty water from old tires, cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, and other containers that can hold water
 Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left out of doors
 Clean clogged roof gutters
 Drain pools of standing water and keep pool covers free of standing water
 Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with fish
 Keep birdbaths clean

“Old tires are great places for mosquitoes to breed,” states Haan. “The Hendricks County Solid Waste Management District will take tires during the Tox-Away Days they host throughout the spring and summer.” For a complete list of Tox Away dates, locations, and guidelines, visit the Hendricks County Solid Waste Management’s website, https://www.hendrickssolidwaste.com/programs/tox-away-days/.
Haan also encourages all residents to start taking steps to prevent mosquito bites, which can transmit diseases from infected mosquitoes to humans:

 Stay indoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
 When outside, cover as much skin as possible with light colored, tightly woven clothes
 Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and tuck pant legs into shoes or socks
 Use an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, PMD, or IR3535 as directed
 Use mosquito netting if staying or sleeping outside in an unscreened structure

Eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and preventing mosquito bites are the best ways to prevent
the spread of mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus. The virus has been found yearly in
mosquitoes in Hendricks County.
West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness, which can include fever,
headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands, or a rash. People over 50 or those with weak immune
systems are more likely to develop a severe form of the disease that can cause swelling of the brain
and spinal cord, muscle paralysis, or death.
Zika virus is another mosquito borne disease that is spread to people primarily through the bite of
an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito, also known as a yellow fever mosquito. Because established
populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are not known to be present in Indiana, the risk of
widespread local transmission of Zika virus occurring in Hendricks County is low. However,
special care needs to be taken by individuals traveling outside of Indiana. Residents who are
traveling should check the Center for Disease Control’s travel information page,
https://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html, for up to date information on where Zika virus
transmission has been reported. Zika can cause fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis and an increase
in microcephaly cases, a condition where an unborn baby’s brain does not fully develop during
pregnancy and causes a smaller head size. Residents who have traveled to areas where Zika is
prevalent and experience symptoms of fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis should immediately
seek medical help.
The Hendricks County Health Department takes proactive measures to help protect residents from
mosquitoes throughout the season. One way this is accomplished is through hiring seasonal
technicians to apply larvicide and trap mosquitoes for testing. The Hendricks County Health
Department is currently seeking qualified applicants for these positions. For a complete job
description and how to apply, please visit
http://www.co.hendricks.in.us/department/division.php?structureid=72.
For more information about mosquitoes, contact the Hendricks County Health Department
Environmental Health Division at (317) 745-9217 or visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s
Mosquito-Borne Diseases page at http://www.in.gov/isdh/23592.htm.

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