WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Department of Health advises residents to take precautions against mosquito bites after New York City reported its first batches of mosquitoes that have tested positive for West Nile virus.
To help eliminate mosquito breeding grounds where you live:
· Survey property for tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers that should be discarded or turned over to prevent water from collecting.
· Cover outdoor trash containers to keep rainwater from accumulating inside.
· Turn over plastic wading pools, buckets and wheelbarrows when not in use.
· Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are left outdoors.
· Clean roof gutters and remove standing water from flat roofs.
· Drain water in birdbaths, plant pots and drip trays twice a week.
· Sweep driveways after it rains so they are free of puddles.
· Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Keep them empty and covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.
To reduce your risk of mosquito bites:
· Avoid being outdoors in places and during times where and when mosquitoes are active and feeding.
· Use insect repellents with no more than 10 percent DEET on children, sparingly and with care.
· Select the lowest concentration effective for the amount of time spent outdoors. A concentration of 24 percent has been shown to provide an average of five hours of protection.
· Products containing DEET are not recommended for infants under two months of age.
· Wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks when outdoors in areas and at times where and when mosquitoes are active.
· Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
To report potential mosquito breeding grounds to the Westchester County Department of Health call (914) 813-5000.