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‘Fight the bite’ effort aims to control mosquitos in El Paso

A mosquito bites a human.
Lakana file photo
A mosquito bites a human.

EL PASO, Texas -- The City of El Paso Environmental Services Department is partnering with the Department of Public Health to inform the public about the “Fight the Bite” campaign.

The campaign offers tips to protect the public from mosquitoes, which can carry deadly diseases, and offers advice about what local residents can do to prevent breeding on their properties.

With monsoon season hitting the city, Ginny Castaneda, the compliance supervisor for Environmental Services, said that it is important to check your properties for standing water after it rains.

“Something as simple as a cap from a 16-ounce water bottle could cause breeding,” she said.

Castaneda noted it only takes about four days of still water to produce mosquito eggs.

Vector control officers try to stop the mosquito population at the main source by checking water sources regularly and spraying larvicide oil on the water which stops larvae from fully developing into adult mosquitos.

Ruth Castillo, the Department of Health emergency preparedness manager, said Covid-19 symptoms and the West Nile Virus - contracted from mosquitoes - can mimic each other.

She said that if you experience any symptoms after a bite it's important to seek medical attention in order to receive the proper treatment.

Natural remedies that can be used on infants, who should not be wearing insect repellant, include mint and herbs, said Castillo.

When dealing with mosquito season, Castillo recommends the 4D’s which are Dress, Dusk, Dawn, and Drain.

In addition is Deet: "Make sure that the insect repellant you are using has the active ingredient, Deet. If you're going to be outdoors try to avoid dusk and dawn, this is when mosquitos are more active. Please if you're going to be outdoors, dress appropriately, hopefully with long sleeves and long pants so that we can prevent mosquito bites and then drain any standing water that you have around your house," she said.

Brianna Perez

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