A campaign intended to encourage Los Angeles County residents to make mosquito control a part of their daily routine began Monday.
The public service announcement from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District features a tired and overwhelmed mother haunted by a life-size mosquito who is reminded that mosquitoes can be one less worry by tipping, tossing and taking action.
The campaign also includes a do it yourself mosquito source checklist posted at TipTossTakeAction.org, which advises the public:
- to eliminate standing water in clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, discarded tires, buckets, watering troughs or anything that holds water for more than a week;
- ensure that swimming pools, spas and ponds are properly maintained;
- to change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers weekly;
- to request mosquitofish from the local vector control district for placement in ornamental ponds;
- wear Environmental Protection Agency-recommended insect repellent when outdoors where mosquitoes may be present; and
- reporting neglected (green) swimming pools in to the local vector control district.
"We hope the campaign will help parents and caregivers make mosquitoes one less thing to worry about by taking these preventative actions to protect their family," said Mary-Joy Coburn, the district's director of community affairs.
The start of the campaign coincides with the first day of summer when mosquitoes become active and can transmit debilitating diseases like West Nile virus.
"We are now living in a new mosquito world," said Anais Medina Diaz, the district's public information officer. "On one hand, we have the challenge of preventing an outbreak of West Nile virus and on the other, we have the invasive Aedes mosquito that continues to infest our communities. We need residents to join us in protecting their community from mosquitoes."
Since their introduction to the region in 2001, the invasive Aedes mosquito has spread throughout the Southland leaving residents scratching for solutions against this aggressive, daytime biter.
The Aedes mosquito only needs a spoonful of water to produce up to 100 more mosquitoes which creates a challenge for vector control as the agency's vector management strategies have been designed to combat the native Culex mosquito capable of transmitting West Nile virus, Medina Diaz said.
West Nile Virus is endemic in the Southland and there is no human vaccine. It is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito, which becomes infected when feeding on birds carrying the virus.