To address the public health concerns caused by mosquitoes, KCHD conducts a mosquito control program during the summer months. As the weather begins to warm each spring, public health professionals begin trapping mosquitoes around the county, testing batches weekly for West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne disease which can infect humans, horses and birds. WNV affected areas are sprayed with an approved mist when needed to reduce the mosquito population. From March until the first frost, larvicides also are used in areas with standing water to prevent mosquito proliferation. Birds such as blue jays, crows and robins also are monitored for signs of WNV.
TIPS FOR CONTROLLING MOSQUITOES
Eliminating breeding areas is an important factor in controlling the mosquito population. KCHD urges the public to reduce breeding sites around their homes by following these tips:
- Dispose of, regularly empty, or turn over any water holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flowerpots, or trashcans.
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors.
- Make sure roof gutters drain properly and water doesn't stand in them.
- Change the water in birdbaths at least once a week.
- Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Keep swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs clean and properly chlorinated.
- Remove standing water from pool covers.
TIPS FOR PROTECTING YOURSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESS
It also is important for residents to take necessary precautions against West Nile Virus during outside activity, either by proper clothing or insect repellant. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to keep mosquitoes from biting you. During mosquito season (generally April through October), take the following precautions:
- Limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, if possible, since this is the time of greatest mosquito activity.
- If you are outside when mosquitoes are prevalent, wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks.
- Use a mosquito repellant that contains DEET (the chemical N-N-diethyl-meta-toluamide); and
- Follow the directions on the label. If you are concerned about using repellent products on children you may wish to consult a health care provider for advice or contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) through their toll-free number at 1-800-858-7378 or npic.orst.edu.
More information on the mosquito control program and the treatment schedule are available by calling 215-5200. A Mosquito Control technician is available to discuss mosquito control at community groups or neighborhood association meetings.