April 6, 2010 (San Diego) -- Spring has officially arrived and mosquito breeding season is here. County officials are working hard to prevent the spread of West Nile virus (WNV).
“Controlling mosquito populations is the key to WNV prevention,” said Jack Miller, Director of the County Department of Environmental Health. “The recent rains will certainly create new mosquito breeding habitats.”
Residents are encouraged to help with mosquito control efforts by eliminating standing water around their homes. Backyard water sources are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Residents should dump, clean out or remove anything that can hold water, such as plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, trash cans, children’s toys, spare tires and wheelbarrows.
People can also reduce the risk of contracting WNV by staying indoors when mosquitoes are most active, and by wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors, especially at dusk and dawn.
County Vector Control advises residents to use an insect repellant containing DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, Picaridin or IR3535 when outside. Keep screens on doors and windows, and make sure the screens are in good condition.
Last year, there were 663 human cases of WNV and 30 deaths in the nation. In San Diego County, four human cases of West Nile virus were diagnosed, two of which were determined to be acquired within the County.
For more information about West Nile virus, to report dead birds or mosquito breeding areas, or find out where to pick up free mosquito-eating fish, call 1-888-551-INFO (4636) or visit www.SDFightTheBite.com.