Mosquitoes do more than just bug you

Donell Mathis checks stagnant water pools for mosquito larvae

/ Colby Gallagher

More rain? More problems.

Farmers may be doing the rain dance, but what may seem like a much-needed break from the drought may bring a different set of issues in the near future.

"This will have a big effect on the mosquitoes within the next two weeks because it takes them from one to nine days to hatch out," said Donell Mathis, the Environmental Control Manager at the Dougherty County Public Works Department.

"Even a little drop of water, mosquitoes can lay their eggs and they can breed and mosquitoes don't really fall far from where they're hatched," said Jacqueline Jenkins, an Epidemiologist with the Southwest Georgia District Public Health Department.

Which means these blood suckers will hit close to home -- in more ways than one.

Everyone can see mosquitoes are annoying but what you can't see is that they can carry diseases and endanger your health, especially your child's.

The health department says 80% of mosquito bites are harmless, but the best way to make sure you're safe is to avoid getting bitten at all.

"The only way to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illnesses is to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds," said Jenkins.

So where are the best breeding grounds?

"Bird baths, buckets, old tires, children's toys, wheelbarrows, things of that nature. Flower pots," said Mathis.

To combat the adult mosquitoes, health officials advise everyone wear plenty of bug spray during the prime hours from 7 p.m. to midnight and if you feel you still have a problem, Public Works has a free service that can help.

"We will come out and do surveillance around the home and see what's going on and show them what they can do to help combat the problem as far as cleaning up around the homes," said Mathis.

If you'd like to set up an appointment, call the Public Works Department at 229-430-6120.

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