This summer, millions of residents across Los Angeles County are returning to a post-pandemic society which includes the constant struggle of balancing work, home, family, and self-care.
But now they have one more thing to worry about — pesky, dangerous mosquitoes.
It’s one reason why the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) launched its summer campaign, “One Less Mosquito, One Less Worry” during National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (June 20-26) to encourage residents to make mosquito control a part of their daily routine.
“The COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of daily life for residents and especially for families. Many parents and guardians worked from home, helped their children with online schooling, and had to look after their older family members on top of their daily household routine,” said Mary-Joy Coburn, director of Community Affairs at GLACVCD.
“We hope the campaign will help parents and caregivers make mosquitoes one less thing to worry about by taking these preventative actions to protect their family.”
Mosquitoes become active during the summer months which can leave many residents frustrated and looking for mosquito solutions. Furthermore, mosquitoes are more than just a bite; they can transmit debilitating diseases like West Nile virus which is why residents must be proactive against them.
“We are now living in a new mosquito world,” said Anais Medina Diaz, public information officer.
“On one hand, we have the challenge of preventing an outbreak of West Nile virus and on the other, we have the invasive Aedes mosquito that continues to infest our communities. We need residents to join us in protecting their community from mosquitoes.”
Since their introduction to the region in 2001, the invasive Aedes mosquito has spread throughout the Southland leaving residents scratching for solutions against this aggressive, daytime biter.
The Aedes mosquito only needs a spoonful of water to produce up to 100 more mosquitoes which creates a challenge for vector control as the agency’s vector management strategies have been designed to combat the native Culex mosquito capable of transmitting West Nile virus (WNV).
West Nile Virus is endemic in the Southland and there is no human vaccine. It is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito, which becomes infected when feeding on birds carrying the virus.
Every summer, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirms numerous WNV cases, including deaths. In 2020, 231 WNV human cases were reported in California.
(Visit CalSurv Maps for a comprehensive look at West Nile virus activity throughout Los Angeles County.)
Residents can find additional online tools and resources such as the DIY Mosquito Source Checklist at www.TipTossTakeAction.org. Mosquito control is a shared responsibility and residents must take an active role in reducing the threat of WNV in their neighborhoods by taking the following steps:
— 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;
— Wear EPA-recommended insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present; and
— Report neglected (green) swimming pools in your neighborhood to your vector control district.
For more information, residents can contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 562-944-9656, online at www.glacvcd.org, or on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.