The City is committed to doing everything in its power to help decrease the mosquito population in the area. However, the City can only spray in public areas and on public streets (which is a very small percentage of property in comparison) so it's important for citizens to help keep the mosquito population under control. You can reduce the mosquito populations in your areas by removing standing water, where mosquitoes can breed, from around your home and work site.
Watch the video below to learn more about the Zika virus from South Health District Epidemiologist Kenneth Lowery.
Health officials also recommend that citizens take the following simple steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and to protect against mosquito bites:
It is extremely important to eliminate mosquito breeding areas around your house. Dispose of tin cans, old tires, bottles, jars, buckets, drums, ceramic pots and other containers or make sure that they contain no standing water. Screen rain barrels and openings to water tanks. Empty and clean your pets watering pan daily.
Use larvicides where standing water cannot be removed, or fill the holes. Free larvicide tablets are available to all residents of the City of Valdosta and can be picked up at the City of Valdosta Public Works Department, located at 1017 Myrtle Street, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Drain improperly installed and sagging swimming pool covers. Change the water in birdbaths at least twice weekly. Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor spas, saunas and hot tubs; if they are not in use empty and keep them covered. Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish.
Check to see that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens that are in good repair. Clean out clogged gutters and/or slope to downspouts. Repair leaky pipes and faucets.
Eliminate weeds, tall grass, and other mosquito breeding places.
Remind neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their property.
Use insect repellent, such as those containing DEET, when outdoors. Please read and follow manufacturer's instructions carefully, and do not use on infants or pregnant women.
The CDC also recommends repellents that contain the chemical Picaridin, a chemical that has been proven to be effective in repelling mosquitoes. According to CDC, currently in the United States there is only one brand of insect repellent to feature Picaridin, which is Cutter Advanced Insect Repellent. The CDC also recommends repellents that contain oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks when you are outdoors during times that mosquitoes are most active, though it is best to try and avoid outdoor activities during these times.
If you have any questions about mosquito safety, please call the South Health District at 229-333-5290 or toll-free at 866-801-5360. For more information and tips, visit the resources below, read City Beat newsletter articles, and tune into Metro Valdosta Channel 17.
Additional information is available at the CDC.
1017 Myrtle Street
Valdosta, GA 31601