Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program

Personal Protection

The majority of arboviruses (Eg. West Nile virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus) are spread primarily by the bite of a mosquito. Due to this fact it is important that all Maine citizens take necessary precautions when outside to protect both themselves and their family members.

While it is not necessary to limit any outdoor activities, unless there is evidence of mosquito-borne disease in your area, you can always help to reduce your risk of mosquito bites through personal protection:

  • Avoid being outdoors during peak periods of mosquito activity, such as dawn and dusk. 
  • Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time.
  • Consider using a mosquito repellent, according to directions on the label, when it is necessary to be outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.

Control mosquitoes in and around your home

Many mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs. To reduce the mosquito population in and around your home, reduce or eliminate all standing water:

  • Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
  • Remove all leaf debris and keep brush trimmed.
  • Drill holes in the bottoms of all recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
  • Make sure roof gutters drain properly, and clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Change the water in birdbaths frequently.
  • Clean vegetation and debris from the edge of ponds.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
  • Drain water from pool covers.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.