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Reduce Your Risk

We can all reduce the risk of West Nile virus by reducing mosquito breeding and protecting ourselves from mosquito bites.

Keep mosquitoes from breeding. Get rid of standing water:

  • Tip out barrels, buckets and wheelbarrows
  • Tip out containers such as toys, cans, and buckets
  • Empty children's wading pools when not in use
  • Change water in birdbaths and animal troughs at least once a week
  • Get rid of used tires
  • Clean garden ponds
  • Recycle old bottles, buckets and cans
  • Clean leaf-clogged gutters
  • Empty water from flower pot dishes
  • Dump water off of tarps and plastic sheeting
  • Repair leaky outdoor faucets
  • Cover rain barrels with mosquito screens
  • Help senior citizens and disabled neighbors or relatives with these activities. Consider holding a neighborhood clean-up day to get rid of junk that holds standing water.

Avoid mosquito bites:

  • Be aware of mosquito prime time biting hours – dawn and dusk
  • Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and hats
  • Ensure window and door screens are in good repair and fit tightly
  • DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) or picaridin are known to be very effective mosquito repellents. Oil of lemon eucalyptus can also be effective but may not offer protection for as long as DEET or picaridin. Wearing special permethrin treated clothing can also help repel mosquitoes. It is recommended that DEET products not be used on infants under 2 months of age. More information about repellent use is located on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Report dead birds to Public Health

Public Health – Seattle and King County tracks the death of crows, ravens and jays as early indicators of West Nile virus. If you find a recently dead, intact bird, report it to Public Health by calling (206) 205-4394 or report it online at the Public Health - Seattle and King County website.