New Hanover County highlights Mosquito Control Awareness Week

Posted June 28, 2016 at 10:53 am     Category: HealthNews Release

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has declared the week of June 26 – July 1, 2016 as “National Mosquito Control Awareness Week.” Mosquito education and monitoring are top priorities for New Hanover County Health Department’s Vector Control, and this week allows for greater awareness about the work of Vector Control and the steps all residents need to take to help control the county’s mosquito population.

Currently, the majority of known mosquito breeding sites in New Hanover County are dry or drying down and mosquito populations have been light throughout the county. Vector Control continues to monitor all sites as well as coastal areas for mosquito production. According to Marie Hemmen, environmental health supervisor with Vector Control, “artificial containers are the biggest threat right now in New Hanover County for breeding mosquitos. Getting rid of anything that can hold water is the best solution for controlling mosquitoes.”

Below are important mosquito protections that every resident can take:

  • Remove any containers that can hold water, including tires and saucers under flower pots. Mosquitos only need 1/8 inch of water to complete their life cycle.
  • Tip and toss anything that can hold water for more than five days, including: tarps, buckets, toys, gutters, plant trivets, trash cans, wheel barrels, kayaks, canoes, boats, pools, corrugated pipes, and also check under decks.
  • Keep gutters clean and in good repair.
  • Repair leaky outdoor faucets and change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least twice a week.
  • When possible, drain any standing water on your property such as puddles and ditches that hold water for more than a few days after rain or plant a rain garden in those areas.
  • Make sure rain barrels have tight-fitting screens or lids.
  • Use screened windows and doors and make sure screens fit tightly and are not torn.
  • Reduce time spent outdoors, particularly in early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear light-colored long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Apply mosquito repellent containing DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, Picaridin, or IR3535 to exposed skin areas following the label directions. For additional information regarding the use of repellents see the following Web site: http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/deet.html.
  • Refer to New Hanover County Asian tiger mosquito brochure for additional tips and information.

The county’s Vector Control is dedicated to preserving the public’s health and well-being through safe, environmentally sound mosquito control programs. The unit sets eight mosquito traps throughout New Hanover County each week to monitor mosquito species and populations. Based on these traps, as well as landing counts, larval surveillance, and citizen complaint investigations – vector control determines the areas in the county to be sprayed. Spraying takes anywhere from four to six hours per zone, and New Hanover County consists of 29 zones. The department also monitors approximately 300 mosquito breeding areas in the county, which are monitored and treated monthly.

The department continually provides education to local HOAs, businesses, and homeowners. Just this year, New Hanover County’s Vector Control partnered with New Hanover County Public Schools to create a mosquito curriculum for fifth graders. In addition, the county’s updated Asian tiger mosquito brochure was recently sent to every elementary school student in New Hanover County. Awareness and understanding are critical to help reduce mosquito populations.

New Hanover County residents are encouraged to call the health department with any vector control issues or concerns at 910-798-6667 and visit our website at http://health.nhcgov.com/your-environment/public-health/ for more information.

 

Release Contact:
Marie Hemmen
New Hanover County Vector Control
910-798-6715

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Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277