Farmwork is not usually an 8-5 job and frequently has us outside during all hours of the day. This can often bring farm workers in contact with mosquitoes. In the past, mosquito bites have been more of a nuisance, but today, mosquito bites have the potential for transmitting several diseases. One of these diseases is Zika virus.
The Aedes mosquito (A. aegypti and A. albopictus) transmits the virus and are commonly found in South Texas and along the Texas coast, but can also occur in other parts of Texas.
The first line of defense against Zika is to remember the “Four Ds”.
— Drain: Empty standing water, thus eliminating mosquito breeding sites.
— Dress: Put on long sleeved shirts and pants when going outside.
— Defend: Apply mosquito repellent when going outside.
— Dusk and Dawn: Avoid outdoor activity during these two most mosquito-active periods.
According to Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension entomologist at Stephenville, “Products containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, as active ingredients provide reasonably long-lasting protection from mosquito bites.” Read and follow the product label.