As warmer weather arrives, many Lexington residents are asking about mosquitoes, West Nile Virus and Zika.
If spraying is needed the health department will notify the public at least 48-hours in advance of spraying activities with when and where the spraying will take place. Spraying will be in the morning hours when most mosquitoes are active.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is part of the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s “Fight the Bite” campaign to educate the community on ways to prevent mosquitoes. LFCHD Environmental Health employees are visiting the areas in Lexington that have received the most complaints about mosquitoes over the past two years. Our staff will be looking for standing water and other areas that are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and will be leaving door-hangers with educational material on how to mosquito-proof your home!
To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, you may take the following actions:
Be aware of peak mosquito activity times. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times. Use insect repellent when outdoors especially during peak biting times, including early morning hours. Look for EPA-labeled repellants containing active ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin (KBR3023), or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane 3,8-diol). Apply repellent according to label instructions. When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent helps prevent bites.
Mosquito-proof your home and yard. Fix or install window and door screens. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Cover or eliminate empty containers with standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of containers such as: tires, gutters, flower pots, children’s toys, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans.
The Lexington Fayette County Health Department also conducts surveys in neighborhoods around Lexington to identify standing water problems that can serve as a location for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Elimination of standing water is the ultimate goal, but in areas where standing water cannot be eliminated the water can be treated to kill mosquito larvae with a chemical called a larvicide. To report a standing water problem in your neighborhood, please call the Division of Environmental Health and Protection at (859) 231-9791. Larviciding is a much more effective method of controlling mosquitoes as there can be hundreds or even thousands of mosquito larvae present in each source of standing water that is treated. The mosquito spray used by the Health Department only affects the mosquitoes that are in the air at the time of spraying.
The weather conditions for mosquito spraying must be within the following parameters:
Wind speed of less than 10 mph.
Temperature of greater than 55o F
No rain or dense fog.
For more information on Duet, the spray we use, go to Mosquito Spraying Program FAQ .
To download a 1-page brochure on ways to reduce mosquitos and mosquito bites, click here .
You can also download our Home Mosquito Prevention checklist here.