Late-summer mosquito populations have spiked in part to the heavy rains and standing water on warm days. The threat of mosquito bites will continue until Iowa's first hard frost, which tends to be in October. The City of Newton will continue using mosquito dunks in public areas to reduce population numbers and there are certain precautions residents can take as well.
- Use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Always read the repellent label and consult with a healthcare provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children younger than 3 and DEET should not be used on babies younger than 2 months.
- Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use structural barriers to reduce the incidence of bites.
- Install window and door screens if they are not already in place.
- Cover all gaps in walls, doors, and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
- Make sure window and door screens are "bug tight."
- Completely cover baby carriers and beds with netting. Nets can be especially important for protecting a sick person from getting more mosquito bites, which could transmit the disease to other people.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks outdoors.
- Eliminate standing water around your property, because that's where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers, and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.
- Make your yard a mosquito-free zone by disposing of any tires -- tires can breed thousands of mosquitoes; drilling holes in the bottom of recycling containers; clearing roof gutters of debris; checking and emptying children’s toys and repairing leaky outdoor faucets.