South Dakota Health Department Issues Mosquito Control Advisory Post-Flooding


South Dakota Health Department Issues Mosquito Control Advisory Post-Flooding

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Health is advising residents to take proactive steps to reduce mosquito populations following recent floods in several southeastern counties. The excess water from flooding creates ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes, especially the nuisance species Aedes vexans. While Aedes vexans does not typically carry the West Nile Virus (WNV), another species, Culex tarsalis, can pose a significant risk.

“The simple step of tipping over or discarding containers holding stagnant water during clean-up efforts can help limit excess mosquitoes in the coming weeks,” said Dr. Josh Clayton, state epidemiologist.

The Department emphasizes the importance of removing stagnant water from properties to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and reduce the risk of WNV transmission.

Action Steps to Remove Standing Water:

  • Empty and Scrub: Turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.
  • Cover Water Storage Containers: Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
  • Use Wire Mesh: For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
  • Fill Tree Holes: Prevent tree holes from filling with water.
  • Repair Septic Tanks: Repair cracks or gaps in your septic tank. Cover open vents or plumbing pipes with wire mesh.

Tips to Avoid Mosquito Bites:

  • Spray: Use mosquito repellant on you and your family to keep the bugs at bay.
  • Water: Even in a small amount of water, mosquitos hatch in just a few days. Remove Standing Water.
  • Arms: When outside, wear clothing that covers exposed skin, like arms and legs.
  • Time: Mosquitos thrive most around dawn and dusk. Either stay indoors or be extra cautious at those times.

The South Dakota Department of Health encourages all residents to remain vigilant and take these preventive measures to protect themselves and their communities from mosquito-borne illnesses. For more information and updates, visit the Department of Health website.

At the heart of the Department of Health’s mission is a simple goal: to protect and improve the health of all South Dakotans. The department is entrusted with the vital task of promoting wellness, preventing disease, and ensuring access to quality healthcare for all South Dakotans.