CDC offers Zika prevention tips for pest workers

September 7, 2016 -  By
Standing water, even as shallow as a 1/2 inch, is an incubator for Aedes mosquitoes.

Zika-infected Aedes mosquitoes spread the virus through bites.

In the August issue, we published a Zika primer for pest management professionals facing questions about a potential outbreak. At the time of that report, no locally transmitted cases had been reported. That is no longer the case, as the virus’s reach has expanded in the United States.

Thirty-five locally transmitted cases have been reported in two areas of Miami, Fla. Travel associated cases have surpassed 2,000. There also have been many more cases reported in three U.S. territories—Puerto Rico being hit especially hard with more than 13,000 locally transmitted cases.

Zika is primarily spread through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito. Outdoor workers in areas with large populations of these types of mosquitos should take extra caution, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

In response, the CDC released the following tips to minimize the risk of an outbreak and protect workers from infection:

  • Covering up (wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants) and use an EPA-registered insect repellent every day.
  • Dumping standing water around the worksite. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, barrels or trash containers.
  • Using an outdoor insect spray made to kill mosquitoes in areas where they rest.
  • Treating clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.

Photos: National Pest Management Association

About the Author:

Dillon Stewart graduated from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, earning a Bachelor of Science in Online Journalism with specializations in business and political science. Stewart is a former associate editor of LM.

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