MOSQUITO BITE PREVENTION AND SOURCE REDUCTION

For Immediate Release

March 17, 2016; 12:15pm

DPHSS Release No. 2016-016

Mosquito Bite Prevention and Source Reduction

The Department of Public Health and Social Services would like to remind the public to be vigilant in eliminating mosquito breeding sites and taking precautionary actions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.  Although Guam does not have any endemic (locally-occurring) mosquito-borne diseases, there have been two reported  cases of Dengue Fever this year; both patients acquired the infection off-island.  Dengue Fever is  a mosquito-borne disease transmitted by the species of mosquitoes known as Aedes, which  are common  on Guam. 

Dengue Fever, as well as Chikungunya and Zika Virus infections, is  transmitted when  Aedes  mosquito bites an infected person and picks up the same infection and bites another person. 

The Aedes  mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters; however, they can also bite at night.  These mosquitoes typically lay their eggs in and near standing water, in things like tires, buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots and vases. The public is strongly recommended to remove standing water to prevent them from propagating by:

 

  • Cleaning up all debris, especially those that can hold water;

  • Disposing loose tires;

  • Cleaning pet water dishes regularly;

  • Cleaning, emptying, and properly screening or covering containers used to store water;

  • Clearing roof gutters of debris;

  • Properly disposing all bottles, cans, buckets, and other containers that can collect water;

  • Plugging tree holes;

  • Repairing leaky outdoor faucets so as not to created standing water; and

  • Changing the water frequently in flower vases and other containers that routinely contain water.

The public is also advised to wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing during outdoor activities as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. When practical, wear long-sleeve shirts and pants when going outdoors. Proper application of mosquito repellent that contains 20% to 30% DEET as the active ingredient on exposed skin and clothing decreases the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.

For any questions, please contact the Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program of the Division of Environmental Health of this Department at 735-7221.

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