San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District
By Kelly Middleton
June 6, 2013 • 705 views
San Gabriel Valley
Vector Control Specialists are taking to the skies this week in search of poorly maintained swimming pools. The District is again partnering with the Pasadena Police Department’s Air Operations Section and their regional program known as FAST (Foothill Air Support Team). This partnership allows the District to rapidly find stagnant water sources favored by West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes.
“We’re proud of our regional efforts and the partnership we’ve formed with the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District. Through a creative and collaborative approach, we’re leading the fight against this very real and dangeous health hazard,” said Pasadena Police Department’s Lieutenant Mike Ingram. FAST is a leader in regional airborne law enforcement services, providing this critical resource to cities throughout the San Gabriel Valley from Pasadena to Pomona.
“This program has been crucial for this District,” said District Manager Kenn Fujioka, “they are providing a true community service. West Nile virus is an active and ongoing risk in the San Gabriel Valley.”
Last week, infected mosquitoes were reported by the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District for the first time this season from Harbor City and Wilmington in southern Los Angeles County. Residents need to take these risks seriously, eliminate all standing water from their property, and avoid mosquito bites.
Even as the area recovers from the economic downturn, the number of pools spotted each year remains high. Last year, this joint program was successful in identifying 831 improperly maintained pools in the San Gabriel Valley. Yesterday’s first flight of the season found 35 pools in one city alone.
“If you have a green pool,” says Fujioka, “it’s time to get it cleaned up.” Staff will visit these properties, require owners or residents make the necessary corrections, and treat the pools to prevent mosquitoes from emerging. State law prohibits anyone from creating conditions conducive to mosquitoes on their property. Under the California Health & Safety Code, property owners can be liable for penalties up to $1,000 per day plus the cost of abatement if these sites are not corrected.
Algae and bacteria found in dirty/stagnant water provide the food immature mosquitoes (larvae & pupae) must have to develop. Mosquito eggs laid on the surface of water in a dirty pool can mature to biting adults in just 5-7 days. Even less than an inch of water can produce mosquitoes. Treatments by District personnel to ‘green’ pools will not change the appearance of the water, but will break the mosquito life cycle and reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Proactive monitoring, early season mosquito control, and public education are critical to reduce disease transmission. Throughout the summer, basic protective measures should be followed:
□ DUMP AND DRAIN: Check properties weeklyand remove all sources of standing water. Report ‘green’ inoperable pools or other sources of standing water to the District
□ DAWN AND DUSK: Avoid outdoor activity in the early mornings and for two hours after dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
□ DEFEND: Wear effective repellents when outdoors during these times, and ensure doors and windows are properly screened to keep mosquitoes out.
The District encourages the public to help identify WNV “hot spots” by reporting dead birds to the WNV Hotline at (877) WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov. We also urge our residents to call the District to report mosquito activity.