MISSOURI (KFVS) - It's that time of year when pesky mosquitoes swarm just about anyone braving the heat this summer.
But this year, Heartland officials are taking the swarms seriously, after the Jefferson County Heath Department found a mosquito carrying West Nile virus at a historic site near Imperial, Missouri.
As a result, Missouri State Parks is ramping up its awareness and prevention campaign to help protect people from mosquitoes.
Park staff will do what they ca to educate and inform visitors of how to minimize the risk of being bitten my mosquitoes, and will also be posting such information on bulletin boards.
Staff will be helping reduce the mosquito population in pars by finding and removing standing water containers, and using larvacide and adulticide to treat lagoon and rainwater catchment areas like field depressions and ditches.
Ways for you to repel mosquitoes when you head outdoors are applying insect repellent to skin and clothing; wearing light or neutral-colored clothing; avoiding areas of standing water like ponds or puddles; avoiding the use of perfumes ad fragrances which can attract mosquitoes; and limiting as much outdoor activity as you can to times between dawn and dusk.
Meanwhile, the Jefferson County Health Department will continue to test mosquitoes in the area, and if more West Nile is found, additional steps will be discussed and taken.
You can find more information about mosquito-borne illnesses by visiting the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service's website at http://health.mo.gov/.