West Nile Virus is on the rise in the United States, a consequence of the climate change that is bringing more extreme weather conditions to many parts of the country. The Centers for Disease Control report that, "since 1999, 30,000 people have been reported as getting sick with West Nile Virus. Occasionally, an infected person may develop more severe disease such as “West Nile encephalitis,” “West Nile meningitis” or “West Nile meningoencephalitis. refers to an inflammation of the brain, meningitis is an inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord, and meningoencephalitis refers to inflammation of the brain and the membrane surrounding it. Almost 13,000 of the individuals who have been reported as having West Nile virus since 1999 have been seriously ill, and more than 1,200 have died."
There are two ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes: reduce the number of mosquitoes in your area, and reduce your chances of being bitten.
Mosquitoes breed anywhere there is standing water. The key to reducing mosquito populations is to limit the places where they can reproduce.
* Empty standing pools of water. Especially after it rains, keep an eye out for standing pools of water that provide perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Those include baby pools, watering cans, old tires, gutters and drains, buckets, and pretty much anything else that can trap water long enough for a mosquito to lay its eggs.
* Keep water moving in ponds and fountains. Use a small pump to keep water circulating, or put some fish or frogs in the pond to eat up mosquito larvae.