Stop mosquitoes from breeding and biting to prevent nuisance, possible illness
Vancouver, Wash. ‒ With the arrival of mosquito season, Clark County health officials are urging residents to help prevent mosquitoes from breeding and take steps to avoid mosquito bites. Certain mosquitoes potentially can transmit West Nile Virus. Although the virus has not established itself in the region and there are no reports of it in Washington, things could change.
Meanwhile, here’s how you can help:
Eliminate mosquito habitat around your home
- Drain standing water from old tires, flower pots, plastic tarps, wheelbarrows and anything else.
- 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.
- To report standing water, call the Mosquito Control District at (360) 397-8430.
Prevent mosquito bites
- Use EPA-registered insect repellents, including those with DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Use especially at dawn and dusk.
- 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.
Most people infected with West Nile Virus will not have any illness. One in five people infected will develop mild symptoms. One in 150 people can develop severe illness with neurological symptoms that may be long-term or permanent. Adults 60 and older are at increased risk for more severe symptoms.
There is no West Nile Virus vaccination for humans, but vaccinations are available for horses. About one in three infected horses will die. Horse owners should contact their veterinarians for more information.
People cannot become infected with West Nile Virus from other people or animals. Dead Corvid birds, such as crows, jays and magpies, may indicate the virus is present, but research has shown that testing local mosquito populations is the best way to detect the virus. The Clark County Mosquito Control District will continue to monitor and test local mosquito populations. However, the online dead bird reporting system for virus surveillance has been discontinued in Clark County.
For more information, contact the Mosquito Control District at (360) 397-8430 or visit https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/mosquito-control-district.
For more information on West Nile Virus, visit https://www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/west-nile-virus.
Zika Virus not a local threat but caution advised for travelers
Mosquitoes that spread Zika virus do not live in the Pacific Northwest, and there is currently no local risk of Zika transmission through mosquitoes. However, travelers to areas where Zika is found are at risk for infection.
Pregnant women should avoid travel to Zika-affected areas, if possible, because of risks to unborn children. Zika also can be spread by men who infect partners through sexual contact.
For more information on Zika, visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.
Environmental Public Health program manager