The summer months may be winding down, but the heat, rain and — perhaps most importantly — the mosquitos will be here for at least two more months.
Near record rainfall in the last couple of months has produced prime breeding grounds for the nasty little biting insects that sometimes carry with them dangerous diseases. They have been so prolific in fact that the West Nile virus was found recently in mosquitos tested in a subdivision in southern Glynn County.
Luckily, West Nile was not found in any humans and after some directed spraying and treating, no more skeeters were found with the disease. But as the Coastal Health District reminded residents in its eight-county region last week, the threat is still there. It is always there.
Mosquitos might as well be the official bird of Coastal Georgia, based on the size and numbers of them here. It is not out of the ordinary to need bug spray late into October or into November here. They will always be a fact of life in the South, especially in Southeast Georgia.
To prevent everything from the itchy remnants of a mosquito bite to the diseases they can carry, the health department suggests a few simple steps.
The first and most important is to tip and toss anything that collects standing water. With so much rain this summer, water accumulates quickly in flower pots, low spots in yards and things that should be tossed anyway, like old tires. Removing the possibility for water to sit long enough for mosquitos to breed will ensure not only avoiding bites, but also a more enjoyable backyard or front-porch experience as temperatures begin to mild.
On top of that, the health department suggests wearing loose fitting clothing, using bug repellants that include DEET and avoiding outdoor activities during the dusk and dawn hours when the skeeters are most active.
We hope folks take these measures seriously during these last weeks of summer and throughout the rest of the year.
We also thank the people at Mosquito Control Services of Georgia for taking on the difficult task of trying to control the prolific little boogers and monitoring their populations for things like West Nile.