Rains and warm temperatures make Louisiana a perfect breading ground for mosquitoes. Mosquito season usually begins in the spring and slows down in the fall. Mosquitoes can carry diseases that are harmful to people, including West Nile and Zika viruses.
During Mosquito Season
Protect yourself from bites
Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants.
Use insect repellent with ingredients like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, OLE, or PMD.
Put sunscreen on before insect repellent.
Keep doors and windows closed, or install screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
Control the population
Remove trash and clutter like old tires, buckets, and tarps.
Empty standing water from containers like pet dishes, children’s toys, and flowerpots.
Keep water fresh in containers like bird baths and kiddie pools.
Clean gutters and catch basins.
Call 311 to report illegal dumping, abandoned swimming pools, and water leaks.
Zika and West Nile viruses
The Zika virus spreads to people through mosquito bites and is sexually transmitted. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.
A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect called microcephaly. Other severe fetal brain defects can occur too.
West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne illness in the United States, and is also found in Louisiana. Symptoms include headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, fatigue, and weakness.