Fight the Bite
Protect yourself and others from West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
Mosquito bites can spread diseases like WNV and EEE. Mosquito-borne disease is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Who is Most at Risk?
Adults over 50 years old and children younger than 15 are the most at risk of becoming severely ill from infection.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Most people who are infected with WNV or EEE do not develop any signs or symptoms. However, both WNV and EEE are potentially serious illnesses. Signs and symptoms can include headache, high fever, chills, vomiting, body aches, nausea, disorientation, seizures, coma, neck stiffness, tremors (shaking), muscle weakness, vision loss, and paralysis. Consult your healthcare provider if you develop any of these signs and symptoms.
Found a dead bird?
The New York State Department of Health is no longer testing birds for West Nile virus. West Nile virus is present in all areas of New York State. If you find a dead bird, wear disposable gloves and:
- pick up the bird
- put it in a plastic bag and double bag it
- then throw it in your garbage can.
Get rid of water!
Don’t let them in!
Protect yourself when outdoors!
- Mosquitoes are most likely to bite at dusk and dawn. If you spend time outdoors during these hours, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes, and socks. Spray clothing and shoes with products containing permethrin.
Use repellent! Follow these tips:
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent.
- Repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.
- Always follow the label directions to ensure proper use.
- Do not allow children to handle repellent. Put a small amount of repellent on your hands and apply it to your child.
- Use just enough repellent to cover exposed skin.
- Do not use repellents under your clothing.
- Do not spray repellent directly on your face, especially near the eyes or mouth. Apply repellent sparingly near the ears.
- Do not use repellent on cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
- Do not spray repellent in enclosed areas.
- After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
- If you suspect a reaction to a repellent, wash the treated skin with soap and water and contact your local poison control center.
For more information about mosquito control, contact the Onondaga County Health Department at (315) 435-1649 or download "Fight the Bite" print-ready materials (pdf): Brochure or Flyer
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water (water which is not in motion or has no flow). If you have areas of stagnant water around your home such as on top of your swimming pool cover, rain barrel, or bird bath, you may want to consider treating the water with mosquito dunks.
Mosquito dunks contain bacteria that kill mosquito larvae. They do not kill adult mosquitoes. Mosquito dunks can be purchased at your local hardware store. The dunks can only be used for containerized standing water and cannot be used for any type of flowing water such as a stream or pond. Please follow the manufacturer’s directions on the package for safe and proper use.
Mosquito dunk being placed
in stagnant water
Vector Mosquito Control Program
New York State Department of Health:
West Nile Virus Information
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
West Nile Virus Information
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Information