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June 5, 2018 > Warm weather grows mosquito, tick populations

Warm weather grows mosquito, tick populations

Submitted By Roger Ross

Warmer temperatures approaching this week may result in increased mosquito and tick activity in Santa Clara County. Officials from the Vector Control District remind the public to be diligent in inspecting and maintaining their properties, themselves and their pets to reduce the risk of mosquito and tick infestations.

The District requests the public eliminate all sources of standing water to discourage mosquito breeding and prevent the spread of West Nile Virus. Warming temperatures in the county are prompting the routine cycle of ticks locally. Immature ticks are most abundant during the summer months, and people need to be vigilant in checking for smaller ticks when active in wilderness areas. Unremoved ticks can lead to Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases.

Mosquitoes require only a small amount of stagnant water to breed. A container in a yard with as little as a quarter inch of water for one week provides mosquitoes an adequate environment to lay their eggs. To keep mosquito numbers down, businesses and residents should empty all containers filled with water, replace outdoor pet water bowls frequently, and dump water from potted plant saucers. Birdbaths should be emptied and refilled weekly.

The public can reduce the risk of mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves at dusk, using mosquito repellents when mosquitoes are active (dawn and dusk), and ensuring window and door screens are in good condition.

Tick bites can be avoided by wearing long sleeves and pants, using repellant sprays, and performing thorough body inspections after returning from the outdoors. This time of year, tiny light brown ticks are most abundant in leaf litter, and on logs and rocks in the foothills and mountains.

ÒThe prevention of vector-borne disease remains the DistrictÕs primary goal and its most important responsibility to the public,Ó said Dr. Nayer Zahiri, District Manager, County of Santa Clara Vector Control District. ÒThere are many ways to minimize risks from mosquitoes and ticks through simple adjustments to daily routines.Ó

Birds can be carriers of mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile Virus. If you find dead birds, contact the StateÕs West Nile Virus Hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473), or visit the website www.westnile.ca.gov.

To report a complaint about mosquito activity (including day-biting mosquitoes), unmaintained swimming pools, or standing water in gutters and other possible receptacles, contact the District at (408) 918-4770 or go to www.sccvector.org

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