County crews, residents take action to prevent mosquito breeding
Vancouver, Wash. ‒ Mosquito season has arrived. As Clark County Mosquito Control District crews work to control the mosquito population, Public Health officials are encouraging everyone to take steps to eliminate mosquito habitats and avoid mosquito bites.
Earlier this spring, Clark County Mosquito Control District crews began monitoring floodwater areas and wetlands, which are common mosquito breeding areas. Recent sampling at those locations revealed significant numbers of mosquito larvae, with the potential for as many as 8 million mosquitoes per acre.
Over the next several days, the Mosquito Control District will use a helicopter to treat 800 to 1,000 acres of floodwater areas and wetlands. The aerial treatment will occur at 20 to 30 locations between Ridgefield and the area south of Vancouver Lake. Aerial treatment is not occurring in residential areas.
The aerial treatment uses a naturally occurring soil bacterium effective at killing mosquito larvae present in water. Treating larvae as they hatch is more effective at reducing mosquito populations than attempting to eliminate adult mosquitoes.
Clark County residents can do their part to help prevent mosquitoes from breeding on their property by taking these simple steps:
- Drain standing water from old tires, flower pots, buckets, plastic tarps and wheelbarrows.
- Change water in bird baths, ponds, wading pools, pet bowls and animal troughs twice a week.
- Repair leaking faucets and sprinklers; clean clogged gutters.
- Properly maintain swimming pools.
- Check for containers or trash in hard-to-see places, such as under bushes.
- Report standing water to the Mosquito Control District by calling 360.397.8430 or submitting a service request online.
Clark County health officials are also urging residents to take these steps to avoid mosquito bites:
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors.
- When practical, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, socks and hats outside, especially in wooded areas.
- Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when outdoors.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents, including those with DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Use especially at dawn and dusk.
The Clark County Mosquito Control District will continue surveillance and abatement activities throughout the active mosquito season, which usually runs through the end of September. Mosquito control crews are also trapping adult mosquitoes and testing certain species for West Nile Virus. While West Nile Virus has been found in other parts of the state, Clark County has never had a positive test result in a mosquito sample.