Missouri State Parks has increased its awareness and prevention campaign regarding mosquitoes after the Jefferson County Health Department identified a mosquito carrying the West Nile virus in Mastodon State Historic Site near Imperial.
Staff at the site will increase efforts to advise and educate all visitors on ways to minimize being bitten by mosquitoes. Information to make visitors aware of ways to make their visit a safe and enjoyable experience will be posted on bulletin boards. Information is available on the web at mostateparks.com, and this message will be emphasized during interpretive programs.
Site staff will redouble efforts to reduce mosquitoes through the following measures:
– Find and remove standing water containers;
– Use larvacide and adulticide to treat the lagoon and rainwater catchment areas such as ditches or depressions in fields.
The mosquito awareness and prevention effort also has been increased throughout the Missouri state park system. Staff at every facility will be finding and removing areas of standing water and using larvacide to treat all lagoons. Staff throughout the system will be emphasizing ways that visitors can prevent being bitten by a mosquito.
The public can minimize their risk of being bitten by a mosquito by taking these precautions:
- Apply insect repellent to skin and clothing;
- Wear light or neutral-colored long-sleeved shirts and long pants;
- Avoid areas of standing water, which are a breeding ground for mosquitoes;
- Avoid using perfumes and fragrances outdoors as they are a mosquito attractant;
- Limit outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
The Jefferson County Health Department will continue to do mosquito testing in the area. If further testing yields more positive results, additional steps will be discussed.
For more information about precautions against mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at health.mo.gov.