Vector control strives to contain infected mosquitoes

first_imgMuch of what her agency advises residents about protecting themselves against West Nile can be summed up in what Heintz called “the four Ds”: Dusk to dawn, which is when mosquitoes come out to feed. Dump and drain any standing pools of water. Defend yourself by apply insect repellent with the chemical DEET and wearing long-sleeved shirts after dusk. At the Girl Scout Camp Northside in San Dimas this week, Bob Kennedy, a technician for the San Gabriel Valley Vector Control District in West Covina, treated ponds with larvae-killing chemicals. “This area is not infested, but it needs to be kept an eye on,” he said. “With the warming weather, mosquitoes get more prevalent.” Heintz said vector control offices provide a number of mosquito-abatement services that are free to residents. “We can inspect private property like swimming pools, fish ponds, hot tubs and any other location where standing water can collect and breed mosquitoes,” she said. “We do it all for free, including treatment of any area where mosquitoes, eggs or larvae are found.” Residents also can get free mosquito fish, which feed on the larvae, from the vector control offices in Santa Fe Springs and West Covina. For more information, call the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562)944-9656, or visit the agency’s Web site: [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2With the discovery this week of West Nile-positive mosquitoes, the season for the virus has officially begun. That, along with warming temperatures and more people outdoors this holiday weekend, means it’s time to once again take precautions, vector control and health officials said. “Memorial Day is the first weekend people are outside,” said Mark Hall, a supervisor at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District in Santa Fe Springs. “They’re more prone to mosquito attacks.” The discovery of mosquitoes carrying the virus came much earlier this year than last year, when positive mosquitoes were not found until July, officials said. That means everything you might have learned last year about protecting yourself against West Nile could be put to the test this weekend. “People need to be vigilant and protect themselves because mosquito season is worse in June and July,” said Stephanie Heintz, spokeswoman for the vector control office in Santa Fe Springs. • Photo Gallery: 05/26: West Nile prevention Wearing plastic goggles and rubber gloves, vector control specialist Tina Smith dropped a few chemical briquettes that stunt the growth of mosquitoes into a green backyard swimming pool in Downey. She stared into the murky water teeming with swimming mosquito pupae. “This chemical floods mosquitoes with an overdose of their own hormones,” she said as thousands of pupae floated on the surface. “They can’t develop into adults.” last_img