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Aerial Search for Mosquito Sources to Begin

 

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. - Weather permitting, the Santa Clara County Vector Control District will conduct an aerial survey of the urban areas in Southeast San Jose on Sunday, May 2nd. This operation will cover approximately 65 square miles to detect neglected swimming pools and other possible sources that could harbor mosquitoes.

An aerial survey plane will fly at an altitude of 5,000 feet and take pictures of the areas. The District will receive the results of the aerial survey and determine which pools need immediate attention. District Technicians will then contact the pool owners to arrange for the pools to be checked and treated if they are developing mosquitoes.

Since 2007, the District’s aerial survey has cataloged over 3,000 neglected pool locations, and District Technicians have performed over 5,700 inspections and 1,500 treatments. Almost half of the mosquito control treatments have consisted of free delivery and planting of mosquito fish, which eat immature mosquitoes.

Response to the aerial survey program has been encouraging. District Technicians who contacted and explained to property owners the health risk posed by poorly maintained swimming pools have noted that most of the owners have taken immediate steps to resolve the problem. Formal legal abatement is seldom necessary.

A single poorly maintained pool in the back yard can produce millions of mosquitoes. Transmitted by mosquito bites, West Nile Virus (WNV) causes mild to severe flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, body ache and, in severe cases, significant neurological damage or even death. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most susceptible.

It is important for all residents to take the following precautions against mosquito bites:

  • Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding.
  • Protect yourself if you are outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and the first two hours after sunset.
  • When outdoors, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  • Apply insect repellant, such as DEET, according to label instructions.
  • Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.
  • Contact the Vector Control District if you are being bothered by mosquitoes or know of a potential mosquito breeding source.
  • Report dead birds to the State of California WNV hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD or at www.westnile.ca.gov. Dead birds may indicate the presence of West Nile Virus. The Vector Control District asks Santa Clara County residents to call if they find crows, jays, sparrows, finches or birds of prey that have been dead for less than 48 hours and do not appear to have died as a result of an injury.

In 2009, California reported 129 WNV infections, with 112 symptomatic cases and four fatalities.

For assistance on mosquito control and WNV , residents can contact Santa Clara County Vector Control District office by calling (408) 918-4770 / (800) 675-1155 or online at www.sccvector.org.

Aerial search for mosquito sources map

Media Contact: Noor Tietze, 408-210-5773; Victor Romano, 408-593-6193; José Colomé 408-210-5774
Posted: April 30, 2010