Mosquitoes are an itchy nuisance, but there is no evidence to show that they spread the COVID-19 virus. (Photo credit: USDA-Agricultural Research Service)

Mosquitoes are a pest, but they don’t spread the COVID-19 virus

Ways to safeguard your property from the pesky critters, now that mosquito season is almost here

While warmer weather is enticing more people outdoors, it also means that mosquito season is not far away, and many are wondering if the pesky critters can transmit the COVID-19 virus.

However, there are no indications that a mosquito bite will do anything more than cause a temporary itch. According to the World Health Organization, there has been no evidence or information to show that COVID-19 can be spread via mosquitoes.

Because the novel coronavirus is a respiratory illness, it is spread primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, through droplets of saliva, or through discharges from the nose. That’s why people are being encouraged to wash their hands frequently, avoid touching their face, wear a cloth mask to prevent the spread of droplets, wipe down frequently used surfaces, and maintain physical distancing from others.

However, mosquito bites are a nuisance, and no one enjoys the itching that accompanies them. Female mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in soil that is protected from risks but prone to flooding, such as near rivers and creeks, meaning that with the spring freshet here, conditions are ideal.

Sources of standing water are also prime locations for laying eggs. Drain or remove any sources of standing water from your property, such as discarded tires, buckets, barrels, and cans, which will eliminate the number of places where mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed. At least once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet water dishes, birdbaths, and swimming pool covers. Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.

As mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, plan your outdoor activities for other times of day. To help avoid bites, cover exposed skin with clothing as much as possible. Light-coloured clothing can be more effective than dark, as those who study mosquitoes believe that they see dark colours better.

If you use insect repellent, read the label carefully before using, and follow all directions. Apply only a small amount of repellent on exposed skin or on top of clothing. Never spray repellents directly into your face: spray some on your hands (make sure that you have cleaned them thoroughly first), then apply the repellent to your face. If you get some in your eyes, rinse them immediately with water.

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