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Ways to Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites

With Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) detected in parts of Massachusetts, take these precautions to reduce the risk.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Tips courtesy the Centers for Disease Control)

There is no vaccine against Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) or West Nile Virus (WNV) for humans. Reducing exposure to mosquitoes is the best defense against infection with EEE and WNV and other mosquito-borne viruses. There are several approaches you and your family can use to prevent and control mosquito-borne diseases.

  • Use repellent: When outdoors, use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. The repellent/insecticide permethrin can be used on clothing to protect through several washes. Always follow the directions on the package.

    If chemicals aren't your thing, Wayland Patch gardening columnist Renee Bolivar suggests basil. .

  • Wear protective clothing: Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
  • Install and repair screens: Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Keep mosquitoes from laying eggs near you: Mosquitoes can lay eggs even in small amounts of standing water. Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels and tires. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Empty children's wading pools and store on their side after use.

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