Los Angeles, Calif. — Everything residents learned last year about West Nile virus and mosquitoes will be put to the test again this year, warned the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District.To ensure residents stay diligent, the District is partnering with the Mosquito & Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC) to announce West Nile Virus and Mosquito & Vector Control Awareness Week, April 19 to April 25.
“The threat is real and cannot be underestimated. We are concerned that we may see more virus activity in 2015,” says Levy Sun, the District’s public information officer. “Despite the drought, the warm weather and neglected water sources, such as swimming pools and flowerpot saucers, have provided perfect conditions for mosquitoes to thrive.”
Last year, West Nile virus affected more than 800 people in California – more than a quarter of those affected were Los Angeles County residents.
In addition, several new invasive mosquito species were detected in Los Angeles County last year. These mosquitoes are very difficult to control, and can transmit tropical diseases such as chikungunya, dengue, and yellow fever viruses. Because they lay tiny eggs in outdoor containers that hold water, yard cleanup is critical.
GLACVCD encourages residents to take the following safety precautions to protect against mosquito-borne diseases:
- Eliminate or manage all sources of standing water to discourage mosquito breeding every week. The work residents do now will make a big difference.
- If you are outdoors when mosquitoes are biting, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts and use an insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and Oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD). Always apply according to label instructions.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
- Contact us at 562-944-9656 or visit www.glacvcd.org if there is a significant problem or potential mosquito breeding source where you live or work.