Eliminating mosquito breeding sites and protecting against bites
The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) is encouraging the public to inspect premises around their homes and businesses for standing water where mosquitoes may breed. The passing of Typhoon Mangkhut and its accompanying rainfall have created conditions around the island that would encourage the proliferation of mosquitoes, particularly the species that breed in containers, such as Aedes. Debris strewn by the storm may be collecting water and breeding this species of mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes are known transmitters of dengue fever, Zika, and chikungunya virus, and while these three mosquito-borne diseases are not found on Guam, they can be imported and spread by Aedes. Our neighboring islands in the Pacific, and Asia, frequently experience outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases.
Mosquito breeding sites should be eliminated, and the public can help by:
- Cleaning up of 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 of all bottles, cans, buckets, and other containers that can collect water.
- Plugging tree holes.
- Repairing leaky outdoor faucets so not to create standing water.
- Changing the water frequently in flower vases and other containers that routinely contain water, including pet dishes.
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.
For any questions, please contact the Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program of the Division of Environmental Health of this Department at 735-7221.