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What can you do to protect yourself against the Zika virus?

Protecting yourself from the Zika virus


What is the Zika virus?


The Zika virus is a kind of disease bringing virus that is similar to dengue and chikungunya viruses, and likewise as these other viruses it is mostly and principally spread by certain species of mosquitoes when they bite you. Although Zika is a disease with mild symptoms that usually last for only a few days, like a rash in certain parts of your body, a relatively mild fever, some joint pain, and maybe conjunctivitis (red eyes), and it is even also possible to have been infected and not present any of these symptoms, yet the real danger of this disease presents itself when a pregnant woman gets infected, as a connection has been found between Zika infected pregnant women and microcephaly (smaller than normal brain size) in their newborns. Zika, unlike other mosquito borne viruses, can apparently also be transmitted through sexual contact between a Zika infected man and his female partner.


How do you prevent getting infected with Zika?


Since the main transmission methods are mosquitoes, and also since there are no known vaccines to the virus, the way to protect yourself from getting infected with the Zika virus is to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes in general, specially if you are living or staying within an area that is known to have ongoing Zika infections. There are a few well known strategies and methods to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, and they can be combined in order to achieve maximum success at avoiding bites. The first and simplest method is to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors or while in areas where mosquitoes thrive. Also by staying in air conditioned areas, or rooms protected with mosquito screens on all windows and doors, most mosquito bites can be avoided. If you are sleeping outdoors or in a place without proper mosquito screening then sleeping under a mosquito netting will be your best option. If this isn’t possible, or while staying outdoors, then you should be using some form of approved mosquito repellant on your clothes and exposed skin areas or also on the bed sheets if possible. Buying and using permethrin (which is an effective kind of insecticide against mosquitoes) treated clothing and other gear may also be something to consider, or maybe treating clothes and gear yourself with permethrin.


Taking steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in or close to your home is also a way to prevent Zika and other mosquito borne infections. Eliminating stagnant pools of water, or getting rid of places or objects where rain water could be pooling and where mosquitoes could be breeding, for example, is a smart move. Any other steps taken to control mosquito populations in and around your house would be advisable as well, and a quick web search will show you quite a few ways to help you on that issue.


Another thing to avoid getting infected with Zika virus in the case of sexual intercourse with a man that has been infected by Zika virus in the previous few weeks, is to use a condom in any case of vaginal, anal or oral sex with them.


Something that smart and responsible people should do if infected with Zika virus, is to also avoid being bitten by mosquitoes for a few weeks after the infection onset in order to avoid infecting other mosquitoes with the virus and in this way helping to avoid the spread of the disease.


Daniel Barsa

This document is licensed for commercial use with modification.

ants insects

How can you Protect Yourself against the Ghost Ant?

Ghost ant is small in size and it has a pale bottom and black head. It is also known as black headed ant because it has a black head. Ghost ant is mainly found in places with moisture. These ants enter the house through trees which are in contact with the house. Open areas around the house are also helpful for ghost ants to enter the house.

There are many ways through which these ants could be eliminated. Different types of sprays are available in the market which can be used for elimination of these ants. These sprays are made by using chemicals and mixed with water to use on ghost ants.

Working of sprays

Working of sprays is to make sure that the ants are eliminated. These sprays have elements which are killing the ants slowly. Some ants get infected with the sprays and take the poison with them to the colonies. In this manner all the ants in the colony are affected and killed in some time period.

These sprays are not quick killing as the quick killing is not good for ghost ants. Quick killing sprays are only killing the ants on which the spray is used. It is good to use slow killing sprays so that the poison could be taken by some ants to the colonies and all the ants could be eliminated.

Baiting to kill ghost ants

Baiting is a process in which slow killing items are used for elimination of ants. Baits are using sugars and proteins in order to attract ants. Slow killing items inside the baits are helpful to transfer the poison to the whole colony. Fast killing items are not good in baits as these will not transfer the poison to the whole colony. You can check the working of baits. If the ants are not visiting the bait then you must change the baits in order to make them effective.

If the ants are visiting the baits and killed without transferring the poison to the colony then you must use a reliable slow killing poison. When you are using a reliable slow killing poison then the ants will take the poison to the colony and help in elimination of the whole colony. It is important to make selection of effective items to be used in baits. You must understand the nutritional needs and requirements of ghost ants.

You can use the items inside the bait which will attract the ghost ants. These ants will be fed on the items inside the baits and take the poison to the colony. In this manner all the ants inside the colony will be eliminated. You can place the baits in places which are liked by ghost ants. Those places which have moisture are used and liked by ghost ants. You can place the baits in kitchen and baths in order to target many ants and kill them.  

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