Use mosquito repellents over July 4 Use mosquito repellents on Fourth of July outings to guard against West Nile Virus, South Dakota State University Extension specialists said.
Jim Wilson, SDSU Extension's pesticide education coordinator, said personal repellents offer the best protection against mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile Virus.
Individuals can also protect themselves by wearing loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing and by not being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active near dusk and dawn, Wilson said.
Scientific tests show repellents containing DEET offer protection for the longest duration, Wilson said. DEET-free alternatives that offer protection for shorter lengths of time are also available.
Wilson added that when planning an outdoor event, homeowners can use portable thermal foggers that use either propane or electricity to convert an insecticide (resmeth-rin) into a thermal or "hot" fog. Thermal foggers only kill mosquitoes that come in contact with the insecticidal fog, which usually dissipates within hours after fogging.
Homeowners can also consider longer-lasting barrier or residual treatments of mosquito resting areas when outdoor gatherings are planned. Apply a labeled insecticide onto mosquito resting areas around the yard and home with an ordinary household sprayer, hose-end sprayer, or ready-to-use container equipped with a spray gun.
Apply the insecticide to surfaces where mosquitoes will be resting during the day such as the north or sheltered sides of board fences, wall siding, eaves, and outbuildings; trees and shrubs; under decks; and in tall grass or weeds.
Apply in advance of the planned activity so that the treated surfaces are completely dry before use.
For more information about controlling mosquitoes refer to SDSU Extension Fact Sheet 923, "Controlling Mosquitoes around the Home and Yard." The publication is available at your local Extension office or online at http://sdces.sdstate.edu/westnile/publications.htm.