Easy steps to prevent West Nile

Aug. 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

BALTIMORE, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The increase in West Nile virus cases has many concerned, but simple actions can prevent mosquitoes from breeding, a U.S. mosquito control expert says.

"Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of standing water that remains for as little as one week," Jonathan Cohen, mosquito control expert and president of Summit Responsible Solutions, said in a statement. "The most effective measure to control mosquitoes is at the larval stage prior to their emergence as adults."

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, therefore, Cohen advised homeowners to be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect in their yards and gardens.

To reduce mosquito populations Cohen advised to:

-- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, kiddie pools, coolers, flower pots or any other containers where water has collected.

-- Remove and discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that can collect water.

-- Empty and clean birdbaths at least once or twice a week.

-- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.

-- Maintain swimming pools in good condition with appropriate chlorination. Empty the water from children's swimming pools when not in use.

-- Treat water that cannot be emptied -- such as ponds, fountains, drain lines, and ditches with a product such as Mosquito Dunks, which uses a naturally occurring bacterium to kill mosquito larvae that is harmless to other living things and approved for organic use.

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