The Division of Environmental Health of the Department of Public and Social Services will be recognizing the week of June 24 – 30, 2012 as Guam Mosquito Control Awareness Week in conjunction with the national campaign to combat the threat of mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria, Dengue Fever, encephalitis, and other illnesses that can be transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Although these diseases are not endemic on Guam, many of our Pacific Island and Asian neighbors have recurring mosquito-disease outbreaks, so we must remain vigilant in preventing these diseases from establishing on island.
In observance of the first Guam Mosquito Control Awareness Week, the Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program of the Division of Environmental Health will be sharing valuable information with the community on how to control mosquitoes and prevent the occurrence of any mosquito-borne diseases on Guam. We start by encouraging everyone to do their part in performing basic cleaning around their homes where mosquitoes may be breeding or hiding:
- Remove any buckets, cups, bottles, flowerpots, plastic bags, tires or any water-holding containers that might have accumulated outside.
- Do not allow water to stand still in low-lying areas of the yard, in boats, or on tarps that cover yard items such as boats, swimming pools, grills and woodpiles.
- Keep pet bowls clean. Rinse with clear water and clean out at least once a week.
- Clean fallen leaves and other debris out of roof gutters and spouting.
- Make sure outdoor trash cans have tight-fitting lids. If lids are not available, drill holes in the bottom of the can.
- Trim and maintain shrubs and grass where adult mosquitoes may hide and rest.
Mosquito populations can emerge from very small amounts of water, so do not allow standing water to collect and remain for mosquitoes to breed. The control of mosquitoes will not only reduce the risk of mosquito disease, but it will also allow for more pleasant outdoor activities.
Also, practice personal protection to avoid mosquito bites by:
- Wearing light colored, loose fitting clothing during outdoor activities.
- When practical, wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors.
- Applying mosquito repellent that contains 20% to 30% DEET as the active ingredient on clothing and exposed skin.
- Making sure screens on windows and doors are in good repair so the mosquitoes can’t enter homes.
For more information please contact the Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program of the Division of Environmental Health of this Department at 735-7221. Dangkolo na Si Yu’os Ma’ase.