This mosquito-borne illness has become a seasonal near epidemic in North America, erupting in the summer and continuing into autumn. Infected mosquitoes spread West Nile virus after contracting it from infected birds. The virus has spread to every state except Washington and is most prevalent in California, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. There were 88 human deaths from the West Nile virus in 2004. This is a decrease from the 264 deaths in 2003. We are still in danger and prevention is key to staying healthy. Here are just a few tips for keeping the bugs at bay….
*Screen Carefully-install or repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
*Scents-if you smell sweet, your chances of getting bit are higher. Scented anything attracts bugs. Use unscented products or peppermint soap (Dr. Bronner’s PEPPERMINT Pure-Castile Soap is my favorite).
*Avoid Peak Hours-Mosquito peak times are dawn and twilight. Use extra repellent or stay inside during these times.
*Keep Dry-Mosquitoes LOVE water of any kind. The smell of sweat, moistness of perspiration or the puddles in your yard (especially standing water). Unclog roof gutters, change water in birdbaths, and remove old tires or anything that can hold water.
*Go Light-Lighter clothes not only keep you cool, but darker colors magnetize mosquitoes. Anything that reflects strong light will keep them away.
*Natural Repellents-Citronella, and extract of lemongrass, is one of the few repellents registered by the Environmental Protection Agency for human application. Essential oils can also act as repellents….clove, thyme and peppermint work well as long as you dilute them with a carrier oil before applying to skin.
*Garlic-Eating a clove or two will work to ward off mosquitoes as well as any friends you don’t want around.
SAVE OUR ARCTIC
Ways you can help….
*Buy a hybrid vehicle. This year alone, Ford, Toyota, and Lexus have come out with hybrid Suv’s for those of us with big families.
*Add some elements of solar, wind, or geothermal heating and cooling to your home. Do it gradually, and remember: The cost will go down only when the demand goes up.
*Work closer to where you live, so you can walk or bike (I know easier said then done). If you don’t like your job, get one that’s nearer. If you don’t like where you live, move closer to work. Better yet, let’s work at home or not work at all!
*Educate yourself and support the education of others. It’s the best, and only way to understand the changes we need to make.
*Dream! Imagine a world where nature is respected and people are living in harmony. Now!!!!! What can YOU do to make that dream come true????
Source: Maria Rodale, “Fresh Take”