Health Department Reminds Residents to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Published on July 03, 2024

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) reminds residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites over the Fourth of July weekend and throughout the rest of the summer. This season’s first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) was recently reported in eastern Nebraska.

West Nile virus is primarily spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito with the highest risk occurring in mid to late summer. LLCHD started trapping and testing mosquitoes in June. At this time, health officials report that the virus has not been detected in any mosquito pools and no human cases have been reported in Lancaster County. However, an increase in WNV activity is anticipated in the coming weeks.

Residents can prevent mosquito bites by following these precautions:

  • Limit time outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks when outside.
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent when spending time outside such as those with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. Visit for more information.

Most people who become infected with the virus do not feel sick. About one in five will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Most people with this type of WNV recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Less than 1% of people infected will develop a serious illness like encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).

The Health Department also asks residents to reduce the breeding areas for mosquitoes by taking these steps:

  • Dump small wading pools daily and maintain swimming pools properly.
  • Clear debris, weeds, and litter from drainage ways.
  • Change water in birdbaths weekly and pet bowls daily.
  • Store tires, buckets, and containers where they can’t collect water.
  • Fill low spots in yards.
  • Maintain garden ponds and fountains and always keep water flowing.

Summer is also the season for tickborne diseases in Nebraska. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend taking these measures to prevent tick bites:

  • Use EPA-registered insect repellents.
  • Check yourself for ticks, especially if you have been outdoors. Make sure to check in and around hair, under the arms, inside the belly button, on the back of knees, between the legs and around the waist. Shower soon after being outdoors.
  • Treat dogs and cats for ticks per veterinarian recommendations.

If you do find a tick attached to your skin, remove the tick as soon as possible.

To remove a tick:

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. The key is to remove the tick as soon as possible. Avoid folklore remedies such as using nail polish, petroleum jelly, or heat to make the tick detach from the skin.
  • Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth parts with clean tweezers. If you can’t remove the mouth parts easily, leave them alone and let the skin heal.
  • After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water.
  • Tick Bite Bot is CDC’s interactive tool that can help people remove ticks by providing recommended actions and resources -

For questions about WNV, ticks, mosquito control, and standing water or to file mosquito breeding site complaints, contact LLCHD at 402-441-8002.

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