LOS ANGELES COUNTY (April 19, 2021) – The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD/District) joins public health officials, agencies, and cities statewide to promote California Mosquito Awareness Week, from April 18th through the 24th. As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift statewide and residents increase their time outdoors and travel, it’s crucial to emphasize the threat mosquitoes pose to public health through the transmission of deadly or debilitating viruses and share preventative steps residents can take.
To kick off California Mosquito Awareness Week and the mosquito season, GLACVCD premiered its own news source, “Mosquito Moment,” focused on highlighting the district’s surveillance, control, and education efforts to help prevent mosquito-transmitted diseases and empower residents to play an active role in protecting the public health of their community.
“In addition to our native mosquito that can transmit West Nile virus, residents are now dealing with the aggressive, daytime-biting Aedes mosquito,” said Anais Medina Diaz, public information officer. “California Mosquito Awareness Week provides us with a platform to inform residents that there are steps they can take now to prevent mosquitoes in their community.”
Every day during California Mosquito Awareness Week, the District will showcase new content on its social media platforms including the release of its newest music video “Tip Toss Boss,” a fun, upbeat song that shows residents how they can reclaim their home from the tiny, pesky biters.
In addition to the release of “Mosquito Moment” and “Tip Toss Boss,” GLACVCD joins a coalition of vector control agencies and programs throughout Southern California in relaunching SoCalMosquito.org, a webpage dedicated to connecting residents and SoCal visitors with the information they need to prepare for mosquito season.
“Los Angeles County is serviced by five vector control districts and local public health departments, but we all have the same goal and that is to protect our residents from the public health threats mosquitoes pose like the transmission of West Nile virus,” said Medina Diaz.
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito, which becomes infected when feeding on birds carrying the virus. WNV is endemic in the Southland and there is no human vaccine. In 2020, 231 WNV human cases were reported in California. Visit CalSurv Maps for a comprehensive look at West Nile virus activity throughout Los Angeles County.
After a rainy spring, there are many areas of stagnant water, which can create mosquito breeding sites. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in sources of water as small as a bottlecap and can complete their life cycle, from egg to adult, in about a week.
Mosquito control is a shared responsibility and residents must take an active role in reducing the threat of WNV in their neighborhoods by taking the following steps:
- Eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week.
- Ensure that swimming pools, spas, and ponds are properly maintained.
- Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths, and other small containers weekly.
- Request mosquitofish from your local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds.
- Wear EPA-recommended insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present.
- Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district.
About West Nile virus:
WNV is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for WNV. One in five persons infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms. Symptoms can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash. These symptoms can last for several days to months. One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis, and possibly death.
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District is a public health service agency formed under the authority of the California State Health & Safety Code. Our mission is to reduce populations of public health vectors below nuisance levels and prevent human infection associated with mosquito-transmitted diseases.