Laredo Health Department gives tips on avoiding unwanted insects


As we start our mosquito season, and as well to address other vectors such as flies, the City of Laredo Health Department wants to remind the public to take preventive measures.

The Health Department says to report any unkempt empty lots and illegal trash and tire dumping sites.

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - The City of Laredo’s Health Department is offering tips to the public to prevent flies and mosquitoes. Both mosquitoes and flies can cause illnesses.

For flies, one of the most important things you can do is to keep your yard clean. Any trash left in the yards can draw flies. When you put trash out in your trashcan, make sure the lid is closed all the way. Also, clean out your trashcan regularly: food that gets left behind or things that leak is what draws the flies.

"People sometimes just throw there left over food products, grease, liquids. Anything that is left over from food products and just dumping it into the trashcan. We are urging the public to put it in a bag, close the bag and put it in the trash can."

For mosquitoes, make sure you have no standing water or old tires in your yard. The city of Laredo has had multiple tire collection pickups to help reduce the mosquitoes. They report we haven't had an illness caused by these insects in four years.

Some more tips from the health department:

Mosquitoes and Other Vectors

· Get rid of standing water and dispose of trash and tires appropriately.

· Avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent when outdoors. Use one that contains DEET.

· Spray clothing with insect repellent, since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing.

· When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.

· Use mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors.

· Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times. Do not sleep outdoors! If you exercise during these times, use repellents.

· Install or repair window and door screens to avoid having mosquitoes indoors.

· Mow tall grass and vegetation to reduce the amount of brush and foliage outside your home in order to eliminate resting sites for adult mosquitoes and other vectors.

· Clean and empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, bird baths, swimming pools (use covers), buckets, barrels, and cans.

· Keep swimming pools clean, well maintained and chlorinated, empty solids, keep the area clean around the pool, and check for larvae. If you see an abandoned pool with water or a dirty pool, CALL 311!

· Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.

· Remove discarded tires and other items that could collect water.

· We urge all horse owners to assure their horses are vaccinated against West Nile Virus and consult with their veterinarian with any questions.

· Take care of your pets with appropriate flea and tick control following directions of the treatments (shampoos), flea collars and as well may have to apply pest control and always consult your veterinarian.

· During hunting season or when hiking and walking in extreme vegetation use repellents on clothes, tuck your pants inside your boots and wear long sleeve shirts if possible,

·

Flies

· Pick up trash, keep yards clean, pick up solid waste from pets and animals

· Cover your trash can, if necessary wash it once a week with white vinegar and water

o One part vinegar and two parts water, apply throughout can and scrub, rinse and dry in sun, do not leave wet

· Cover bottom of trash can with paper to absorb liquids (food scraps, liquids, fats and grease from food and waste highly attract flies)

· If necessary line garbage can with a trash bag or put items in smaller bags close them and put in the garbage can especially food items and animal waste (animal feces)

· Keep trash can in well ventilated area with tight lid closed at all times

· Coat the outside of the garbage can with vinegar to repel flies (bay or eucalyptus leaves might also repel -crush leaves slightly and hang around can)

· Keep area around garbage can clean and dry.

· Follow other sanitation steps above as well (especially have good screens on windows and doors)

· Restaurant, food establishments and apartment complexes with commercial dumpsters and/or garbage cans must maintain appropriate sanitation and close their trash and garbage containers appropriately with water tight lids as well they must empty their trash and waste in a timely manner. When trash is removed clean areas and pick-up debris.

· Get rid of dead animals and animal waste, keep pets and any animal feeding and keeping areas clean as their droppings breed flies.

· Empty lots with standing water can also breed flies, these need to be cleaned.

· One may need to use pest control, fly traps, electrocuting grids, swats but most effective is sanitation and hygiene

For more information you can call the City of Laredo Health Department, Epidemiology Division at (956) 795-4938 or the Environmental Health Office at (956) 795-4904, Animal Care Services at (956) 795-4902 or (956) 717-5762.


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