For Immediate Release
February 4, 2016; 11:20am
DPHSS Release No. 2016-07
The Department of Public Health and Social Services would like to remind the public that eliminating mosquito breeding sites and taking precautionary actions are two simple methods to prevent being bit by mosquitoes. Dengue Fever, malaria, Chikungunya, and Zika Virus infections are some diseases that can be transmitted by mosquitoes.
A proven method of controlling mosquitoes is to remove their breeding sites, particularly for the container-breeding Aedes mosquitoes, which are found on Guam and are known transmitters of many mosquito-borne diseases. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and can also bite at night. Mosquitoes need water to breed; thus, 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 create standing water; and
- Changing the water frequently in flower vases and other containers that routinely contain water.
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. Thus, the island must remain vigilant in preventing the introduction and spread of the infection by eliminating mosquito breeding sites and not getting bit by them.
For any questions, please contact the Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program of the Division of Environmental Health of this Department at 735-7221.