NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - You are your own best friend this summer when it comes to avoiding mosquito and tick bites.
The New Hanover County Vector Control works year round to ensure mosquito and other bug populations are controlled in the county.
"Mosquitoes can carry diseases," said Marie Hemmen, environmental health supervisor for Vector Control. "They have the potential to carry West Nile Virus in this are and Triple E. They also can cause secondary infections from the mosquito bite and the saliva of the mosquito."
Hemmen said most mosquitoes breed in standing water that is man-made. She wants people to take the steps necessary to protect themselves.
"First of all, look around your yard to make sure you are doing everything to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yards," said Hemmen. "Dump out standing water and store containers under cover or indoors, so that they can't hold water."
Vector Control also sprays different spots in the county to kill adult mosquitoes.
"We do not spray individual yards, but we do investigate every mosquito concern," said Hemmen. "We do public education, and that is a huge part of our program. If the mosquito populations warrant, then we spray the county and certain zones for mosquitoes."
All of the chemicals used are regulated by the EPA, and Hemmen wants to ensure people the spraying is better than not having it at all.
"We are trying to protect the public's health from mosquito-born disease," she said. " That is what we are doing when we are out spraying for mosquitoes. We are actually looking at the full benefit to knock down mosquito populations that could carry diseases."