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Johnson County

Mosquitoes in Kansas City

The spread of Zika virus has many of us asking questions. How common is Zika in the US? What’s the likelihood of being infected? How common are the mosquitoes that spread Zika? What should I be doing to protect myself and my family?

We know some of the answers, and others we’re still learning. Here’s what we know.

  • No local mosquito-borne Zika virus disease cases have been reported in the United States, but there have been travel-associated cases.
  • The two primary mosquitoes that transmit the Zika virus are not common in our area. So while it’s possible to contact Zika, it’s not very likely.
  • The best way to prevent Zika is by avoiding mosquito bites. You can protect yourself and your family by following some simple steps.

Steps to prevent mosquito bites and to reduce mosquito populations

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Eliminate or reduce the breeding sites of mosquitoes around your home by emptying any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
  • Use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.
  • An outdoor flying insect spray can be used to help reduce populations where mosquitoes rest. Mosquitoes rest in dark, humid areas like under patio furniture, or under the carport or garage. When using insecticides, always follow label instructions.
  • Use EPA registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.
    • Always follow the product label instructions.
    • Reapply insect repellent as directed.
    • Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
    • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.

To protect your child from mosquito bites:

    • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.
    • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
    • Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs.
    • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
    • Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
    • Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.

Treating clothing

  • Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items.
    • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
    • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
    • Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.

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