VENTURA, California –The Environmental Health Division is advising the public to take precautions to protect against mosquito bites and remove standing water sources from in and around their homes. Environmental Health monitors and controls mosquito breeding at sources throughout Ventura County. However, it relies on the public to report mosquito activity and report new breeding sites.
The public can call the mosquito complaint HOTLINE at (805) 658-4310. Environmental Health also provides mosquito-eating fish to the public for use in non-natural water features. To request mosquito-eating fish call (805) 662-6582. To report dead birds to the California Department of Public Health for West Nile virus testing, call (877) 968-2473).
Many reports are being received about other insects that are often mistaken for mosquitoes, such as gnats and crane flies which do not transmit diseases to humans. The staff can assist with identifying mosquito species and other insects.
Environmental Health also advises the public to be alert for two invasive (non-native) mosquito species that have recently been found in several areas of California. They are Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) that have been known to carry several viruses, including Zika. These are small, aggressive, daytime-biting mosquitoes with white stripes on their back and legs. Their eggs can survive being dry for months and hatch in a teaspoon of water, so eliminating potential breeding sources is critical.
You can minimize your exposure to mosquito transmitted diseases by: eliminating any standing water from your property no matter how small and making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens without holes. When outdoors, wear protective clothing and apply an EPA approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. If you need to store water in rain barrels or other containers for longer than a week, make sure they are mosquito-proof by covering all openings with tight fitting lids or 1/16-inch fine mesh screen.
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