Community Effort Needed to Reduced Risk of West Nile Virus
With warm weather on the horizon, its time for residents to make routine inspections of their property for standing water where mosquitoes might breed. As temperatures rise, mosquitoes can develop in seven to ten days. Residents can play a huge role in reducing their risk of West Nile virus (WNV) by simply removing standing water. The Placer Mosquito Abatement District recommends the inspection of the following for standing water:
Residents can merely dump the water so mosquitoes cannot breed. With spring already upon us, the District is increasing disease surveillance throughout Placer County.
One of the most common mosquitoes in the Sierra foothills in the springtime is the Western Treehole mosquito (Aedes sierrensis). This small, black and white, aggressive day-biting mosquito is a nuisance from April to June, depending on the weather. The female Western Treehole mosquito lays her eggs in treeholes that collect water (oaks are the most common source), but any treehole that contains water can support mosquitoes. When you find a treehole that holds water, add a small amount of a horticultural hydrophilic gel such as Agrosoke™, Broadleaf ® P4®, Soil Moist, or Water-Keep to prevent treehole mosquitoes from developing there for several years.
Resident can reduce their risk of mosquito-borne diseases by taking the following precautions:
• Apply insect repellent when outdoors – DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus – read and follow label instructions.
• Stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active: dawn and dusk. If you must go outdoors then, first apply repellent to exposed skin. Wear light-colored, long, loose-fitting clothing.
• Contact your veterinarian for information on vaccinating your horses, mules, donkeys, and burros against WNV.
• Report significant mosquito infestations to Placer Mosquito Abatement District at 916-435-2140 or www.placermosquito.org.
Dead bird reports are very important because they are usually the first indication of virus activity in an area. If you find a dead bird, do not handle the dead bird with your bare hands. Use gloves or an inverted plastic bag to place the bird in the plastic bag. Report dead birds to 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473) or www.westnile.ca.gov. If you are not contacted within 24 hours, you may safely dispose of the dead bird in your trash.