For Immediate Release
September 13, 2016; 2:10pm
DPHSS Release No. 2016-074
Mosquito Control and Prevention during Rainy Season
The Department of Public Health and Social Services would like to remind the public that eliminating mosquito breeding sites is a simple and proven method to control the mosquito population on Guam. The rainy season provides opportunities for water to accumulate, and standing water serves as a breeding site for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue Fever, malaria, Chikungunya, and Zika Virus infections can be transmitted by mosquitoes.
The Aedes mosquito, a container-breeding mosquito, is found on Guam and is known to transmit many mosquito-borne diseases. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and can also bite at night. The public is advised 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;
- Properly storing equipment and household items, such as children’s swimming pools and tarps out of the rain;
- Filling tree holes and potholes with sand;
- Repairing leaky outdoor faucets;
- Changing the water frequently in flower vases and other containers that routinely contain water; and
- Flushing out the leaf bases of bromeliads (an ornamental plant related to the pineapple) where water frequently collects.
In addition, 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-sleeves and pants when going outdoors. Proper application of mosquito repellents that contain 20% to 30% DEET as the active ingredient on exposed skin and clothing decreases the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.
Guam has no endemic mosquito-borne diseases; however, there are about 20 species of mosquitoes on island that can transmit these diseases. Our community must remain vigilant in preventing the introduction and spread of mosquito-borne diseases by eliminating mosquito breeding sites and preventing mosquito bites.
For any questions, please contact the Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program of the Division of Environmental Health of this Department at 735-7221.