You can decrease the chance of your animals’ being exposed to the virus by limiting their exposure to mosquitoes. The best way to do this is to reduce mosquito breeding sites.
Mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts more than 4 days. The best way to reduce your risk is to remove any potential sources of standing water in which breeding can take place.
- Dispose of water-holding containers such as old tires.
- Drill holes in the bottom of containers that are left outside.
- Thoroughly clean watering troughs, bird baths, etc., every few days.
- Clean clogged roof gutters every year.
- Turn over wading pools or wheelbarrows when not in use, and do not let water stagnate in bird baths.
- Aerate ornamental pools.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools that are not in use and do not let water collect on pool covers.
- Use landscaping to eliminate low spots where standing water can collect.
Using insect repellants may help decrease exposure of horses to adult mosquitoes. Because under certain conditions (e.g., perspiration) some products have a limited duration of effectiveness, it is not wise to rely solely on repellants to prevent mosquito exposure. Use repellants according to label instructions. Products containing a synthetic pyrethroid compound (such as permethrin) as the active ingredient serve two purposes: (1) they offer superior safety and repellent efficacy and (2) they are contact pesticides that kill mosquitoes.