California Recognizes Mosquito & Vector Control Awareness week.
Mosquitoes thrive in the warm weather that is fast approaching, and it’s important to realize that these little bugs can cause more than just annoying bites. Mosquitoes can transmit diseases like West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, heartworm in dogs, and encephalitis. That is why the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California and the California State Legislature are recognizing West Nile Virus and Mosquito & Vector Control Awareness Week on April 24-30.
West Nile virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can result in debilitating cases of meningitis and encephalitis, and lead to death in humans, horses, some bird species and other wildlife. In 2010, West Nile virus transmission led to a reported 111 human cases in California and 981 human cases throughout the United States. California Department of Public Health and the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict West Nile virus will again pose a public health threat in California in 2011. (You can keep up-to-date on West Nile virus activity throughout the state this season at the a special section of the Department of Public Health website.)
Mosquito control with proper pesticide use has been successful in preventing a major West Nile outbreak for many years; however, a few simple steps by homeowners and other community members help reduce the mosquito population – and therefore the West Nile threat – even more. Aim for making straight “Ds” when it comes to mosquito prevention by following these tips:
- DRAIN all standing water
- Avoid DAWN and DUSK when mosquitoes are most active
- DRESS appropriately in long sleeves and pants
- DEFEND yourself against mosquitoes with an effective repellent
- DOORS and windows should be in good condition
Activities related to West Nile Virus and Mosquito & Vector Control Awareness Week are being coordinated by the more than 65 member mosquito and vector control agencies, including the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District, and are designed to raise public awareness and educate Californians about the importance of effective mosquito control and prevention.