FRESNO – The Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District reports it has collected West Nile virus positive mosquitoes from areas within Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Reedley, Fowler, Selma and Kingsburg. St. Louis encephalitis virus positive mosquitoes have been collected in the City of Fresno.
“The dramatic increase in mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis virus, within the last month, is a concern. I urge everyone to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” the district’s Science Education Coordinator Katherine Ramirez said.
Residents are urged to stop mosquito development in their yards and thus avoid mosquito bites.
“The best way to avoid bites is by applying an insect repellent on exposed skin or wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors from dusk till dawn,” she said. “The best way to stop mosquito development is by dumping all water from any container at least once a week. This includes your pet’s water dish.”
The District applies US/EPA registered insecticides to control mosquitoes in cities and in rural areas throughout the District, and it will continue these operations during the mosquito season. These applications may at times, and under certain conditions, include the spraying of an ultra-low volume (ULV) aerosol insecticide fog at night in residential areas to reduce adult mosquito populations.
These ULV insecticides are applied using a truck-mounted sprayer driving along surface streets. Here is some information about truck ULV spraying. More information can be found at www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/TruckMounted-FactSheet.pdf.
Spraying insecticides from a truck is one way to safely kill mosquitoes in an area, especially when people in the community are getting sick from mosquito bites. There are different types of sprayers that can be put on a truck.
Truck spraying is used to control and reduce the number of mosquitoes that can spread viruses and reduce your chances of getting infected with viruses.
The District will spray small amounts of insecticide into the air to kill mosquitoes. This spray is a fine mist that acts as a fogger in the area.
Adulticide sprays immediately kill flying mosquitoes. Larvicide sprays kill mosquito larvae that hatch from eggs and lasts longer than adulticide sprays. Both products will temporarily reduce mosquito populations in an area, but will not permanently get rid of them.
Spraying takes place in the early evening when mosquitoes are more active. Often, local government agencies or mosquito control districts announce the dates and times of spraying in the local newspaper, on district websites, through public service announcements, by telephone, or through door-to-door notices.
Afterwards, the mosquito control district will track mosquito populations and treat an area again as necessary to reduce the chances of people getting bitten by mosquitoes that can spread viruses.
The sprays are not harmful to people, pets, animals, or the environment.
You do not need to leave an area when truck spraying for mosquito control takes place. If you prefer to stay inside and close windows and doors when spraying takes place, you can but it is not necessary.
If you are having any type of health problems after spraying, contact your doctor or healthcare provider. The spray does not harm pets, but you may choose to bring them inside when spraying occurs.
For more information about the District, for an updated map of mosquito-borne disease activity, and for locations of ULV fog applications, visit the District website at www.mosquitobuzz.net .
Tips for avoiding mosquito bites from the District include:
- Avoid places where mosquitoes are present, especially at night from dusk to dawn.
- Wear shirts with long sleeves and long pants when outdoors during the evening.
- Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 on exposed skin when outside during the evening.
- Install and repair screens on windows and doors.
- Eliminate standing water and containers that hold water from around your home.
- Report poorly maintained swimming pools or water features that appear green.