LANCASTER – Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died while serving in the military service. It also marks the unofficial start of summer, and people typically get together for BBQs and fun outdoor activities.
The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is encouraging residents to protect themselves with insect repellent while outdoors in the evening.
“Personal protection and removing potential mosquito breeding sites are the best way[s] to avoid mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus,” stated District Manager Cei Kratz. “There is no treatment or cure for this virus, so prevention is key.”
The Centers for Disease Control and prevention recommends using repellents that contain DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 to best protect you and your family from mosquito bites. Be sure to read the label thoroughly and apply the repellent according to directions.
The District will be conducting an aerial survey of the area in the beginning of June to find unmaintained swimming pools that can create tremendous mosquito populations, if gone untreated. The technicians have already started to check and treat pools that have been a problem in the past.
The California Department of Public Health as of May 20 reported West Nile Virus activity in 34 dead birds, and 17 mosquito samples from 10 counties in California. The Antelope Valley last year recorded WNV in two people, five dead birds, four mosquito samples and 29 sentinel chickens.
Tips to keep mosquitoes away and stay safe:
- Check your property for any standing water from sprinklers or thunder showers.
- Turn on fans to keep mosquitoes away.
- Keep screen doors and windows in good repair and close them.
- Don’t use bug zappers near your patio – they attract more mosquitoes than they kill.
- Get FREE mosquito-eating fish (Gambusia affinis) for fish ponds, pools and horse troughs.
- Vaccinate your horses properly.
- Report stagnant pools and other backyard sources to the AVMVCD.
- Report dead birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or visiting www.westnile.ca.gov.
To stay up-to-date on WNV activity in the Antelope Valley and any mosquito-related information, visit www.avmosquito.org.
[Information via press release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.]