OSWEGO COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Oswego County Health Department’s mosquito surveillance program is going on now. 

So far, the mosquito-borne illnesses Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus have not been found in the county. 

However, the health department has some tips to help people avoid mosquito bites, as heavy rains and humidity are ideal for mosquito populations. 

“From late spring and into the fall, we closely monitor mosquito and virus activities. Mosquito samples are routinely collected from a number of trap sites around the county and tested by the state’s lab, said Oswego County Associate Public Health Sanitarian Chris Williams. 

 Oswego County Director of Public Health Jiancheng Huang listed these methods for avoiding bites:

  • Use insect repellent properly and read all safety instructions
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks
  • Limit outdoor exposure when and where mosquitoes are most active

The health department also warns that insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus should be used with caution. DEET and permethrin are meant to be applied to clothing and gear, and should not make contact with skin. 

There are also ways to minimize mosquito population round you home, and the health department outlines ways to do that:

  • Repair or replace all window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of the home
  • Dispose of old tires which are a significant mosquito breeding site. Used tires are accepted at Oswego County transfer stations. Contact the Oswego County Solid Waste Department at 315-591-9200 for details.
  • Empty or dispose of pails, cans, flowerpots, or similar water-holding containers.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
  • Clear roof gutters and be sure they drain properly.
  • Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs and drain pool covers.
  • Change the water in birdbaths and horse troughs twice a week.
  • Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens and clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
  • Kill larvae using dunk kits in standing water around your property

For more information about dunk kits provided through the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District Office, call 315-592-9663.