Summer in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry brings sunshine, warmer temperatures — and mosquitoes.

While more are active in the day, others are most active at night, dusk or dawn.

And already in areas of Chatham County, mosquitoes samplings have tested positive for West Nile virus.

The Chatham County Health Department and Mosquito Control urge residents to take precautions now and throughout the rest of the summer to minimize mosquitoes around their property:

– Get rid of standing water or items that can hold water
– Clean up debris around homes and yards
– “Tip ‘n Toss” water from flower pots, planters, toys, wading pools, buckets, etc. after every rainfall
– Frequently change outdoor pet dishes
– Change bird bath water 2x a week
– Avoid using saucers under outdoor potted plants

And to avoid any mosquito bites, keep the 5Ds in mind:

– Dusk/Dawn: Avoid dusk and dawn activities during the summer when mosquitoes are most active
– Dress: Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin
– DEET: Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites
– Drain: Empty any containers holding standing water, because they are breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes
– Doors: Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house

Following this advice will help keep you and your family safe this summer, so the sunshine and warm weather can be enjoyed worry-free.