OUR VIEWS: Keep guard up against West Nile

Sep 14, 2012

But mosquitoes can also be deadly.

There have been two reported deaths in West Michigan attributed to West Nile virus during the past several weeks.

Thankfully, cooler weather is on the way, and mosquito season looks to be nearing an end. Still, it would be wise for us to take precautions in the coming weeks to make sure the number of deaths attributed to the virus doesn’t escalate any further.

The most basic way to protect yourself and your children from mosquitoes is to use some type of bug spray.

There are hundreds of different products available, but don’t just grab the first bottle you see and begin pumping it onto your kids’ bare skin. Check how much DEET a product contains. Typically, the higher the DEET content, the higher the efficiency of the bug spray. But too much DEET can be harmful to kids.

Experts recommend choosing a spray with 10-30 percent DEET. Other options are available, including sprays containing natural repellent, such as oil of lemon eucalyptus.

There are other ways to curb the mosquito population in your yard. Get rid of all standing water. Even an old tire or a kid’s sand bucket full of rainwater offer spots for mosquitoes to hatch.

Commercial yard sprays can also be an effective way to kill off mosquitoes and other bugs.

West Nile virus hasn’t become a serious problem in West Michigan — yet. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take precautions. Protect yourself and your children, and help keep the virus at bay.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

 

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