California Mosquito Awareness Week educates residents on preventing mosquito-borne viruses
Published : Thursday, April 18, 2019 | 11:24 AM
After the significant rainfall received this winter, vector control experts stress the need for residents to take preventative action against mosquitoes.
The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District (SGVMVCD) joins health officials and cities across the state to promote California Mosquito Awareness Week, April 21-27. This statewide campaign empowers residents to prevent mosquitoes year-round.
“California Mosquito Awareness Week is an opportunity for residents and community leaders to prepare for an active year for mosquitoes and viruses,” said Levy Sun, SGVMVCD public information officer. “If people want a more bite-free neighborhood, they need to act now. Mosquito control is a responsibility shared by everyone.”
In Los Angeles County, West Nile virus (WNV) persists as the biggest threat to residents. The California Department of Public Health reported 320 human cases in Los Angeles County in the past two years, which accounts for more than 40% of statewide cases.
Vector control officials are also concerned about aggressive, day-biting Aedes mosquitoes, due to their potential to vector (spread) Zika virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya. There have been no local outbreaks of these viruses in San Gabriel Valley, however the presence of Aedes mosquitoes increases the risk.
Vector control experts advise residents take the following steps to bite back against mosquitoes:
- Prevent bites by applying insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Always read label instructions.
- Tip and toss all sources of stagnant water on your property, including in flower pots, old tires, buckets, pet dishes and trash cans.
- Install screens on windows and doors, and keep them in good repair.
- Report neglected swimming pools to mosquito and vector control.
- If, after dumping stagnant water, residents continue to experience mosquito problems, they can submit a tip to SGVMVCD at sgvmosquito.org or call 626-814-9466.
In response to year-round mosquito-borne disease threats, SGVMVCD’s programs continue its efforts to reduce mosquito populations.
- SGVMVCD will conduct its annual aerial audit of unmaintained swimming pools in San Gabriel Valley on April 30, weather permitting. The aerial audit will alert SGVMVCD officials of pools that can potentially grow millions of mosquitoes in a month.
- The surveillance staff traps mosquitoes and sends samples of adult mosquitoes to be tested for diseases, such as West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis.
- Outreach and education continue its spring education push in schools and community events to remind everyone to take preventative measures against mosquitoes.
For additional information, please visit MosquitoAwareness.org.