West Nile Virus detected in WF; Tips on natural mosquito repellent

West Nile Virus detected in WF; Tips on natural mosquito repellent

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - The Wichita Falls Wichita County Public Health District is doing all they can to let the public know that mosquitoes in the area have tested positive for West Nile Virus. They are not only taking measures to prevent it from speeding, but they are also telling individuals to learn how to protect themselves.

The Health District they are spraying chemicals that kill mosquitoes but they said it is not the best solution.

Environmental Health Administrator Susan Morris said, "Spraying for adult mosquitoes is the least effective, most expensive method of treatment. It's not a preventive measure. All it does is kill those mosquitoes at that point in time."

That is why the public health district is recommending people take their own measures to combat mosquitoes.

They recommend draining standing water, wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors, and spraying the body with bug repellent that contains DEET.

However for people like Wichita Valley Landscape owner Paul Dowlearn, over the counter DEET irritates his skin, so he recommends natural repellents.

One product on the market is Alligator Swamp spray. He lists its ingredients saying, "…geranial from geraniums, soybean oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil – if you're allergic to DEET use this."

Contrary to popular belief, citrus plants like geranium are not going to repel mosquitoes just by sitting there. It is the releasing of the aroma that does the trick.

Lastly Dowlearn recommends using Mosquito Dunks. Although they are not natural, they target mosquitoes without hurting other animals.

He said, "It won't kill your dog if he drinks out of it, it won't kill a horse."

He also recommends using essential oils around the house like Orange Oil that you can buy in a bottle and put a spray cap on. Cedarwood chips also repel all insects.

The City of Wichita Falls' pest management program will be spraying with trucks in the early morning and evenings to kill mosquitoes. But, they want to stress that it is not the most effective method and that people should stay indoors while mosquitoes are usually out which is during the dusk and dawn.

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