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Winter Prevention

Winter and West Nile Virus

Cold weather means mosquito season is over! But don�t start cheering just yet… residents in our community need to stay one step ahead of the mosquitoes and West Nile virus.

Recent studies have shown that in our part of the country, hibernating mosquitoes (also called �overwintering� mosquitoes) harbor West Nile virus, which can mean an early transmission of West Nile virus to birds, horses and people next spring.

These cool winter months are the perfect time to eliminate next spring�s potential mosquito breeding sites. Follow the simple steps below to prepare your home for freezing winter temperatures and next spring�s mosquito season:

  • Clean Rain Gutters
    Clean out leaves and debris from your gutters frequently. Wet leaves provide nutrients and protection for mosquito larvae.
  • Recycle Old Tires
    Recycle tires or store them where they won�t collect rainwater. For playground use, drill water drainage holes.
  • Do Some �Winter Cleaning�
    Cans and containers, such as buckets, watering cans, plastic cups, toys, or any trash that can hold water can serve as a mosquito breeding habitat. Remove them now before mosquitoes find them in the spring.
  • Rake Leaves
    Leaves left in your yard will decompose and become food for mosquito larvae in the spring.
  • Fill Holes and Yard Depressions
    Those puddles of water in your yard make great mosquito breeding sites!

For more information about mosquitoes and West Nile virus in our community call 540-899-4796, extension 224.

Rappahannock Area Health District
608 Jackson Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
(540) 899-4797

Last Updated: 07-30-2011

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