This post may contain affiliate links which fund the My Sparkling Life blog.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a "sponsored post." The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
“This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood on behalf of Texas Department of State Health Services.”
If you live in Texas, I’m sure you already know the warmer climate makes mosquito season a year-round concern for all of us. Despite the decrease in conversation and media coverage, the Zika virus is still a threat in Texas with an elevated risk of transmission in the summer and continuing through the late fall.
Mosquitos were already a problem but had died down a bit in my area until Hurricane Harvey hit. After Hurricane Harvey the mosquitos were so bad they were covering our linemen from head to toe. When we returned to survey the damage we weren't covered like that but were severely attacked as we were cleaning up and moving out.
Although there have been fewer cases reported this year, we can’t let our guard down yet because we’re still in the middle of mosquito season in Texas. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the threat of Zika transmission remains high, especially along the Gulf Coast and in urban areas where the mosquito that carries the virus is commonly found.
Most people will get Zika from an infected mosquito, but Zika also can be spread through blood transfusion and sexual transmission.
Zika also can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy. This can lead to severe birth defects.
Currently, there is no treatment or vaccine for the Zika virus.
Wear EPA-approved insect repellent.
Keep mosquitoes out of your home by using screens and closing doors.
Drain any standing water in and around your home, if possible.
Treat standing water that cannot be removed with larvicide, such as mosquito “dunks.”
You'll also want to create barriers between you and the mosquitoes. You can do this by:
- Wear light-weight, long-sleeve shirts, and pants.
- Use screens on your windows and doors.
- Use mosquito nets to protect babies younger than two months.
It's super important that you drain standing water in and around the house. This will help eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. This is particularly important because the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus prefer to live near people.
Fact: These mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of water!
To help reduce the risk of being bitten by a mosquito, that could carry the Zika virus, take a few minutes to clear all standing water – even if it’s just a little bit – from places such as:
- Pet water bowls
- Toys left outdoors
- Kiddie pools
- Spare tires and tire swings
- Plant pots and saucers
- Watering cans
- Bird baths
- Areas around outdoor faucets
For ponds and other bodies of water too big to drain, use a commercially available larvicide to prevent mosquitoes from becoming biting adults.
Is Insect Repellent Safe for Me? My Children?
EPA-approved insect repellents, when used as directed, are proven to be safe and effective for children and adults, even pregnant and breastfeeding women. This includes those with DEET.
- For children 2 months or younger, use a mosquito net to protect them from mosquito bites instead.
- Women who are pregnant should talk with their doctor if they have any questions or concerns.
One of the biggest concerns with Zika is that it can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy. This can lead to severe birth defects, including microcephaly, which has debilitating and life-long effects.
If a pregnant woman or her loved one is traveling:
- If you’re pregnant, don’t travel to areas where the Zika virus is active. You can find links to travel information at TexasZika.org.
- If you’ve traveled to an area with a risk of Zika, talk to your doctor about the risks of transmission and whether testing might be beneficial.
- Use condoms or don’t have sex during pregnancy if your partner lives in or has traveled to an area with ongoing Zika transmission.