Get healthy Carson City: Buzz off! Carson City combats mosquitoes

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This column addresses topics related to the health of our community.

We can all agree that mosquitoes are annoying. The buzzing, the biting, the itching ... it's no fun. Never fear, Carson City Health and Human Services' Environmental Health Division is here to help!

Although it seems like mosquitoes are everywhere, individual mosquitoes of most species don't fly very far, and they don't live long. Only female mosquitoes bite, the males do not.

Environmental Health Specialist Brendan Schneider is leading the charge against mosquitoes for the Health Department. They have begun treating for mosquitoes and are fighting the biting insects from land, in the water, and in the air. The largest efforts are helicopter treatments directed at the standing water areas around the Anderson and Silver Saddle ranches. From a helicopter, granular larvicide is sprayed over flooded fields. The standing water in these areas provides a good habitat for mosquitoes and that is why this area is an important treatment spot.

The larvicide the health department uses kills larvae of mosquitoes before they start biting, without harming other wildlife. Another round of helicopter treatments will begin the week of July 11. Also, spot treatments of standing water areas around town are conducted regularly. Sometimes larger bricks of larvicide are used, which can release over time to reduce the mosquitoes all summer long.

If you are having problems with mosquitoes around your property, there are steps you can take to fight the bite.

• Remove standing water

• Eliminate piles of yard waste or debris where water can collect

• Repair or replace screens over windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

• Repair leaky faucets to keep puddles from forming

• Treat swimming pools regularly to keep them from becoming mosquito habitat

Mosquitoes can spread disease. Any time you are outdoors, but especially at dawn and dusk, cover up as much as possible with long pants and long sleeves. Wear bug repellant as well, to cut down on the number of bites you have to suffer. Summer time is a time for fun outdoors, don't let mosquitoes ruin your fun.

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