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Preventing mosquitos in your yard

Monday, July 28, 2014

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -Slapping a mosquito might hurt for a second, but the diseases they carry could kill you.

Department of Health and Hospital Regional Medical Director Dr. Martha Whyte announced Thursday someone in Caddo Parish did die from West Nile.

“We know that last week was our first reported cases at all, and those were three in south Louisiana,” said Dr. Whyte. “So it's been a pretty slow season.”

But that does not mean the mosquitoes have not been out in full force.

“We've had a lot more rain this year, than other years previous to this so it's really hectic for us to keep the mosquitoes in control,” said Adam Parisy, lead technician at Mosquito Mist Systems.

Parisy said Friday the most important thing you can do to help kill mosquitoes is dump or get rid of any standing water.

“A lot of people don't know the dangers of having that water inside of a tire or a flower pot or just whatever that can hold the water,” he said. “That is the main concern.”

All it takes to make your time outside more enjoyable is a flip of the switch for your outdoor ceiling fan. Keeping the air moving will deter mosquitoes from landing where you're sitting.

“Mosquitoes like to land on vertical surfaces to digest their food,” Parisy said. “If they can't do that, they don't want to be around.”

Parisy also suggests keeping your yard clean of pine straw and the grass cut.

“The shorter the better,” he said. “I know it will burn when it's real short, but you kind of have to make your mind up—do you want to get bit by mosquitoes or do you want to have really fluffy grass?”

It’s a decision that could save your or your children's lives.

Caddo Parish's Mosquito Control Supervisor Brian Glascock said Friday they plan to spray everything they've got. That includes adding at least one extra night of spraying and putting more trucks on the road.

However, Bossier Parish does not plan to amp up their spraying. A spokesperson for Bossier Parish's Public Works Department said they will spray as usual, and will even go out to problem spots when they're called. He said the department plans to step up their testing for different diseases.