Yesterday the Texas Department of State Health Services announced the first 2015 case of West Nile virus in Texas. Coincidentally, Dallas County Health and Human Services issued a health advisory reported the first positive mosquito pool of the year was collected Wednesday.
And to add insult to injury, this week my wife and I both got our first chigger bites of the year.
All of this is a good reminder that summer is around the corner, and that insect repellent is our best defense against the less savory insect and mite characters lurking out there.
The best way I’ve found to be consistent with my use of repellent is to keep a spray bottle just outside my doorway. That way I am reminded, even if I’m only out for a short while, to spray exposed skin. Similarly, keeping a repellent in your car is a very good idea.
There are very good formulations of DEET out these days, many with low odor, and in several different forms: wipes, creams, pump sprays and aerosols. DEET has some of the best persistence; however there are good alternatives to DEET if you aren’t going to be outside very long. The U.S. Environmental Protection agency provides a repellent calculator to help you dial in your needs and find the repellent you like best and will use consistently.
West Nile virus is something everyone should take seriously. Check out these videos for tips on reducing mosquito numbers around your home. And if you haven’t taken part in the Mosquito Safari, this is a great time to take the tour.