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Unexpected ways to defend against Zika

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Posted at 1:20 PM, Mar 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-28 13:20:06-04
The weather is warming up, and nicer temperatures come with a warning: The Centers for Disease Control says mosquitos infected with the Zika virus may arrive here in the U.S. this summer.
 
In counties across America, labs are hard at work collecting and testing mosquitoes for dangerous viruses. Dr. Nikos Gurfield, with the San Diego County Vector Control, says more people are calling his department with concerns, mostly due to the Zika virus.  
 
 
He explains that the mosquitoes that spread the virus are aggressive biters that may even make their way into your house. 
 
You know to remove standing water from your home and your yard, but Gurfield warns mosquitoes only need a half inch of water to breed -- that's the same amount a bottle cap holds. 
 
When it comes to watering your plants, Gurfield suggests adding extra rocks or sand to the containers to keep the bugs from reaching the water.
 
If you have a pond, look into getting fish that eat mosquitoes; sometimes you can get them from your county for free. 
 
 
Unlike other mosquito species that feast at night, Gurfield explains, "the Zika mosquitoes are more common during the day.” Studies show they like sweat, higher body temperatures, and carbon dioxide, so you could draw them to you when you're exercising and exhaling more.
 
Other research shows stinky feet and even beer could attract some mosquitoes.
 
The EPA has a tool to help you pick the right bug spray. Click here to choose the repellent that's right for your family.
 

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