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Mosquito-borne Diseases in OhioFight the Bite! Avoid, Plan, Stop

Diseases spread by mosquitoes are a concern in Ohio each year.  Mosquito-borne diseases that may occur locally in Ohio include:

There are also several mosquito-borne diseases that Ohioans can acquire when traveling that could be brought back into Ohio:

Prevent mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases

The most effective way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.  In Ohio, mosquito-borne illnesses are most often transmitted during the warmest months, May through October.

Being aware of mosquito and mosquito-borne disease activity in your area allows you to take action to protect yourself and others: avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites, plan ahead for mosquitoes while traveling and stop mosquitoes from breeding in and around your home.


AVOID mosquitoes and mosquito bitesApplying insect repellent

Use insect repellents when you go outdoors:

  • Apply repellents on exposed skin registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Wear clothing treated with permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent for extra protection.
  • Use products according to label instructions to optimize safety and effectiveness.
  • Don't spray repellents on the skin under your clothing.

Take care during peak mosquito biting hours:

  • Take extra care to use repellents from dusk to dawn.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts or jackets and long pants to protect against mosquito bites.
  • Consider avoiding outdoor activities during peak mosquito biting hours.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.

PLAN ahead for mosquitoes while traveling

Check travel notices for mosquito-borne and other disease transmission updates:

Speak to your healthcare provider regarding risks:

Pack appropriately to protect yourself from mosquitoes:

  • Bring EPA-registered insect repellents to use when outdoors.
  • Consider bringing clothing treated with permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent for extra protection.
  • Pack light-colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts or jackets and long pants to protect against mosquito bites.
  • Purchase mosquito netting to use when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.


STOP mosquitoes from breeding in and around your homeBucket containing water

Don't let mosquitoes breed around your home:

  • Empty standing water from flowerpots, buckets, barrels, tarps/covers and wheel barrows on a regular basis.
  • Discard trash such as tin cans, plastic containers and other water-holding containers that have accumulated on your property.
  • Dispose of discarded tires properly.  Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
  • Change the water in pet dishes frequently.
  • Replace the water in bird baths weekly.
  • Check and clean clogged roof gutters at least twice annually so they will drain properly.
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with mosquito-eating fish.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, even those that are not being used.
  • Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.
  • Consider using products containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), available at many garden and home improvement stores, to control mosquito larvae in containers that are too large to empty.  Follow the label instructions.

Stop mosquitoes from coming indoors:

  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors.
  • Use air conditioning, if you have it.

Support your community surveillance and control programs:

  • Mosquito control activities are most often handled at the local level, through county or city government.  The type of mosquito control methods used by a program depends on the time of year, the type of mosquitoes to be controlled and the habitat structure.  Methods can include elimination of mosquito larval habitats, application of insecticides to kill mosquito larvae or spraying insecticides from trucks or aircraft to kill adult mosquitoes.  Your local mosquito control program can provide information about the type of products being used in your area.  Check with your local health department for more information.
  • Report dead birds to local authorities.  Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus and other arboviruses are circulating between birds and mosquitoes in the area.  By reporting dead birds to local health departments, you can play an important role in monitoring mosquito-borne diseases.  Local agencies have different policies for collecting and testing birds, so check with your local health department for more information.

 

Mosquitoes in Ohio

 

La Crosse virus

  

West Nile virus

 

Zika virus

 

Additional resources

Websites:

Plans:

Educational material:

 

Contact information

Ohio Department of Health
Bureau of Infectious Diseases
Zoonotic Disease Program
246 N. High St.
Columbus, OH  43215
Phone: (614) 752-1029
Fax: (614) 564-2437
E-mail: Zoonoses@odh.ohio.gov

 

Page Updated:  06/28/2018

Go to the Zoonotic Disease Program page