SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Officials in Suffolk are making sure residents are staying safe for the 4th of July weekend.

To provide additional measures in keeping residents safe, Suffolk Police say they are increasing patrols for the 4th of July Weekend.

Police are asking residents to “celebrate responsibly by arranging for a sober driver, wearing your seatbelt every trip, and refraining from distractions while behind the wheel.”

Motorists should be well-rested and alert, observe speed limits, and follow the rules of the road. More people are expected to be on the roadways for the holiday weekend.

Many will also be enjoying the 4th of July festivities from a boat. Officials remind residents that alcohol and boating is also a dangerous combination which can lead to boat operation problems as well as drowning.

Suffolk Police will be participating in “Operation Dry Water” on the holiday weekend to raise awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence.

With the summer season getting off to a very humid start, bugs and pests are also crawling back up.

Insects including biting gnats, biting midges, chiggers, fleas, ticks, and of course mosquitoes are expected to be on the horizon.

Suffolk Mosquito Control has been working diligently to protect the City by reducing mosquito populations that transmit diseases and those that pose a nuisance. Operations include, but are not limited to, routine mosquito trapping, focused sprays for adult mosquitoes, and pesticide applications to eradicate juvenile mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) are found in Suffolk every year, however, local residents have never contracted either one.

You can avoid mosquitoes bites by following these recommendations:

  • Remain indoors during times of greatest mosquito activity
    • 1 hour before dusk to 1 hour before dawn
  • Wear loose, long, and light-colored clothing when outdoors
  • Use insect repellants containing DEET, picaridan, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus, Para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone.

Free Mosquito Dunks are available to Suffolk citizens at Fire Stations 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10, Public Works Mosquito Control Office, Media & Community Relations Office in City Hall, as well as the East Suffolk Recreation Center and Whaleyville Recreation Center. In order to get your free Mosquito Dunks you must be 18 years of age or older, have proof of residence in the City of Suffolk, proper picture identification and sign the “Information Sheet.”

You can help eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around your home and neighborhood by following these simple steps:

  • Empty water-holding containers:
    • buckets, drums, bottles, tin cans, wheel barrows, potted plant trays, etc.
  • Properly dispose of used tires.
  • Clear roof gutters, downspouts and corrugated black drainpipes of any water collection.
  • Clean wading and swimming pools.
  • Drain water from tarps.
  • Place Mosquito Dunks in stagnant water areas around your home which include ditches and low lying areas.