LOS ANGELES (August 18, 2020) – In honor of World Mosquito Day, observed on August 20th, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) is dedicating a week of action against mosquitoes by sharing information in various languages to raise awareness and encourage participation in its grassroots neighborhood program ‘Mosquito Watch.’ Mosquitoes cause great damage around the world because of the diseases they can transmit through the bite of an infected mosquito and Los Angeles County is no exception as health officials see a rapid increase in virus activity.
World Mosquito Day stemmed from the discovery of the malaria parasite by Dr. Ronald Ross in 1897 through his study of its transmission in birds. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), malaria accounts for the deaths of more than one million people a year.
“While malaria isn’t a prominent vector-borne disease in our County, mosquitoes still pose a threat to our residents through the transmission of West Nile virus. There is no cure or vaccine and the best protection is prevention,” said Anais Medina Diaz, public information officer at GLACVCD. “By joining our Mosquito Watch Program, residents will be equipped with the tools to prevent mosquitoes and reduce virus activity in their neighborhood.”
So far this year, the District has confirmed a total of 108 mosquito samples positive for West Nile virus in its service area, with 25 stemming from its most recent collection. This is the first positive sample of the season in four areas: Arleta, Long Beach, West Hills, and Wilmington.
Greater Los Angeles County is also home to invasive Aedes mosquitoes, which can transmit Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses. There is currently no local transmission of these viruses in California; however, the presence of Aedes mosquitoes increases the risk.
As mosquito activities increase, it is important to remind residents that there are simple solutions to reduce mosquito populations and to protect loved ones from mosquito bites.
Follow the tips below to prevent mosquito bites:
- Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin before going outdoors and reapply as recommended on the label.
- Wear insect repellent containing CDC and EPA approved active ingredients: DEET®, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Close or repair all unscreened doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
Follow the tips below to reduce mosquito populations on your property:
- 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.
- Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district.
For more information about Mosquito Watch, visit www.TipTossTakeAction.org. Residents can also contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at www.glacvcd.org for additional mosquito-related questions. Follow @GLAmosquito on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
ABOUT GREATER LOS ANGELES COUNTY VECTOR CONTROL DISTRICT
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District is a public health 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.
Anais Medina Diaz, Public Information Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org | 562-360-5440 | 562-758-6515
Mary-Joy Coburn, Director of Community Affairs: email@example.com | 562-758-6510 | 562-325-0690