Local News

9/28/2013

Officials warn of mosquito breeding sites

The Brunswick News

Health officials in Coastal Georgia say they are concerned about the impact of recent rains on mosquito populations.

The almost daily rains across much of Brunswick and the Golden Isles, as well as much of the region, have saturated areas of the community to the point where puddles are taking a long time to be absorbed into the ground.

These slow-to-disappear puddles can become breeding pools for the blood-sucking insects.

"Standing water is always a concern when it comes to mosquito breeding and we have definitely had our fair share of rain lately," said Sally Silbermann, spokeswoman for the eight-county Coastal Georgia Health District, which includes Glynn County.

"We always tell people to protect themselves from getting bitten by wearing repellent with DEET in it, wearing light, long-sleeved clothing and avoiding going outside during peak mosquito hours. But making sure your yard and neighborhood aren't mosquito breeding sites is just as important."

Mosquitoes are generally the most active around dusk and dawn.

Health officials say residents should attempt to eliminate puddles that remain in or close to their yards for several days.

A new concern about defending against the insects surfaced just before the weekend. Health officials in Chatham County announced Friday Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a deadly mosquito-borne disease, showed up in a horse near Savannah.

Officials emphasized that no human cases have been reported.

The disease causes swelling of the brain and the result is death in the majority of cases.

Health officials remind residents mosquitoes can remain active in the fall and to not drop their guard.

West Nile Virus, another mosquito-borne disease, showed up this past summer in Chatham and Brantley counties.

Silbermann said people must take proper steps to protect themselves.

"Empty water from anything that will hold it -- bird baths, old tires, tarps, wheelbarrows, potted plant holders, pet dishes," she said.

"Allow water to flow or drain freely in ditches and culverts by clearing debris and grass or weed clippings."

Other ways residents can help themselves include keeping gutters cleaned, checking around faucets and air conditioner units and repairing leaks. Tree holes should be plugged.