Stop mosquitos in their tracks

Published 10:37 am Friday, July 8, 2016

West Nile. Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Chikungnya. Zika.

Perhaps these four viruses don’t carry the historical baggage — yet — of, for instance, malaria. But they are nonetheless potentially deadly and, in the case of the Zika virus, especially, frightening reminders of the potential dangers of a simple mosquito bite.

Although the Zika virus has not yet shown up in the area, several other mosquito related diseases and viruses have tested positive in neighboring localities.

A horse in the western part of Suffolk, near the Isle of Wight border, tested positive for EEE on June 22 and had to be euthanized on June 23.

In response, surrounding areas have stepped up its mosquito-spraying efforts, and officials are warning horse owners to have their animals vaccinated. EEE has a mortality rate of 80 to 90 percent in horses, so vaccinations are the most important measure against the disease.

It is important that residents help in this effort. The following is a list of suggestions citizens should follow in limiting the places where disease-carrying mosquitos might survive. Officials are also asking residents for their help in the effort, suggesting the following steps for limiting the places where disease-carrying mosquitos might survive:

• Empty water-holding containers such as buckets, drums, bottles, tin cans, wheelbarrows, potted plant trays and so on;

• Properly dispose of used tires;

• Clear roof gutters, downspouts and corrugated black drainpipes;

• Clean wading and swimming pools;

• Drain water from tarps; and

• Place Mosquito Dunks in stagnant water areas around your home, including ditches and low-lying areas.

To find out more information on mosquitos, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website,