Preventing mosquito bites
West Nile virus, like many other diseases, is transmitted by mosquito bites. When dealing with West Nile virus, prevention is your best bet.
Fighting mosquito bites reduces your risk of getting this disease, along with others that mosquitoes can carry.
The City of Round Rock does not spray for mosquitoes. There are many reasons, but the most important are the questions about the effectiveness of the insecticide and the negative impact on the environment. Because of these concerns the city continues promote the importance of citizens taking preventative meaures to reduce mosquitoes and protect themselves from bites.
Avoid mosquito bites
Apply Insect Repellent Containing DEET
(Look for: N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) to exposed skin when you go outdoors. Even a short time being outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. For details on when and how to apply repellent, see Insect Repellent Use and Safety.
Wear protective clothing
When possible, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or DEET will give extra protection. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.
Remain indoors during peak mosquito hours
The hours from dusk to dawn are peak mosquito biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning -- or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home
Drain Standing Water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items that hold water. Treat standing water that can't be drained with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), available at most home and garden stores.
Learn more on the Prevention of West Nile Virus Question and Answer page.
Install or Repair Screens
Some mosquitoes like to come indoors. Keep them outside by having well-fitting screens on both windows and doors. Offer to help neighbors whose screens might be in bad shape.
Help Your Community
Report Dead Birds to Local Authorities
Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and the mosquitoes in an area. Over 130 species of birds are known to have been infected with West Nile virus, though not all infected birds will die. It's important to remember that birds die from many other causes besides West Nile virus.
By reporting dead birds to state and local health departments, you can play an important role in monitoring West Nile virus.
Mosquito breeding sites can be everywhere. Neighborhood clean up days can be organized by civic or youth organizations to pick up containers from vacant lots and parks, and to encourage people to keep their yards free of standing water. Mosquitoes don't care about fences, so it's important to control breeding sites anywhere in the neighborhood.
We offer the following suggestions to reduce mosquitoes around your home and yard:
- Get rid of old tires, tin cans, bottles, buckets, drums and other containers in your yard or keep them empty of standing water
- Empty wading pools frequently and store them indoors when not in use
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets
- Replace your outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights.
- Change water in bird baths and scrub them twice a week
- If you have outside pets, empty their watering dishes daily
- Clean clogged roof gutters and drain flat roofs
- Treat standing water that can't be drained with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), available at most home and garden stores
- Make sure window and door screens are "bug tight"