Minneapolis, MN

Preventive actions for mosquito-borne illnesses during summer in Minnesota

Abdi Isaaq

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - There are approximately 50 different species of mosquitoes living in Minnesota, but only a few species can spread disease to humans. Culex tarsalis is the primary vector that spreads the West Nile virus to Minnesotans.

Residents who go to tropical and subtropical regions may be exposed to mosquito-borne illnesses, including dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever, and the Zika virus. Mosquito species associated with warmer temperatures, such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are not established in this state. Between mid-summer to early fall, the period has the highest risk when mosquitoes spread disease to humans in Minnesota.

That's why it is crucial to avoid as many mosquito bites as possible.

these are some practical ways to prevent yourself from getting mosquito bites:

- Choose an EPA-registered product containing up to 30% DEET to ensure that it is safe and effective against mosquito bites.

- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and trousers. Furthermore, use head nets in regions with high mosquito populations.

- If feasible, avoid outdoor activity or repellent during peak mosquito feeding periods, which occurred at dawn and dusk for Culex tarsalis mosquitoes and throughout the day for Aedes triseriatus mosquitoes.

To keep mosquitos out of your house, install and fix screens on windows and doors, use air conditioning when possible, and remember to eliminate tiny pools of standing water by checking drains and clean out leaves frequently to make sure they aren't plugged. Cover water storage containers and make sure mosquitoes cannot enter and breed inside them (e.g. rain barrels). Empty, scrub, and change the water in pet bowls, birdbaths, fountains, and pools at least once a week.

You can find the complete guide on the Minnesota Department of Health's website.

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