MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – West Nile is sweeping the nation, but there are measures you can take now to protect your house and your health.
It only takes a quarter inch of water for mosquitoes to reproduce and then swarm your house Experts with AAA Pest Control recommend you keep an eye out for any wet areas in your yard. This includes, ditches, sewage drains, bird baths and potted plants. Owner Joe Davis says the mosquitoes can breed even in unlikely places, such as toys left out in the yard or unused swimming pools.
"You'll have mosquitoes breed through the whole gutter. And you'll have some people that don't have bushes and cut grass and are surrounded by mosquitoes and they can't figure out why," says Davis.
Davis recommends you keep the grass cut low and keep bushes away from the house.
"The more harbors you have around your home like bushes and tall grass, the more mosquitoes you're going to have," explains Davis.
Mosquitoes aren't just annoying pests, they also carry disease.
"When we have mild winters like we did, it doesn't allow the mosquito population to die off, as a result you get resurgence in the following fall," says Dr. Ron Reynolds with Beach Family & Urgent Care.
"You're not going to know if you have West Nile. Blood work can be done and if you are dealing with an area with a large number of outbreaks, you're going to know to keep an eye out for it."
Dr. Reynolds explains the symptoms of the West Nile Virus are similar to any typical virus.
"You're getting the lower grade symptoms. These are the things you generally associate with a virus, headache, nauseating, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea," says Dr. Reynolds.
Doctors say it is very rare to develop serious symptoms such as confusion, muscle weakness, or coma. Ten percent of those cases are fatal.
"We haven't had any cases this year but it is always a concern. We are in an environment that is similar to those state that are having outbreaks…you want to do things to prevent the chance that you might get the virus," says Dr. Reynolds.
The CDC says the best way to avoid West Nile Virus is to prevent mosquito bites. The department recommends you use insect repellent, wear sleeves and long pants outside at dusk and dawn, check your window screens, and get rid of any standing water.
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