ORANGE-The California Legislature has declared April 16 to April 22 as Mosquito Awareness Week. The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District (OCMVCD) joins public health agencies throughout the state to raise awareness and educate Californians about the threat mosquitoes and vectors can pose to local communities.
“Over the last few years, Orange County has experienced an increase in cases of mosquito-borne illnesses such as the West Nile virus. Furthermore, the presence of the invasive Aedes mosquitoes threatens the county with diseases such as Zika virus, dengue fever, and Chikungunya” said Mary-Joy Coburn, OCMVCD Public Affairs Coordinator. “To ensure the protection of family, friends, and pets, it’s extremely important to make sure that residents are taking the proper steps to eliminate standing water on their properties and to control the mosquito population.”
To kick off Mosquito Week and the mosquito season, OCMVCD has started meeting with officials from cities with historically higher than average mosquito activities to discuss leveraging city assets and volunteer groups to help get the message of mosquito control to residents. The focus of the meetings is to protect the residents and reduce mosquito and vector threats.
District staff will also be participating in city events and presentations to educate the public about the mosquito sources found on their yards and what they can do to protect themselves.
“Eliminating standing water is the most important thing to remember in order to control mosquitoes,” added Coburn. “Conduct a property inspection every week and dump and drain all items that can potentially hold water.”
Orange County residents can do a variety of things to help protect themselves and the community, and to help reduce the risk from mosquitoes this season:
• Eliminate any standing water around the home.
• Make sure all of the window and door screens on the property are in good repair.
•Wear a repellent containing DEET®, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
• Contact the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District to report dead birds or neglected swimming pools.