Record rainfall provided relief to drought-thirsty Southern California but created havens for disease-spreading mosquitoes in people’s yards.
Vector control officials are advising that Los Angeles County residents must take extra precautions with green, unmaintained pools, rain barrels and other small containers that have collected rain water. Since mosquitoes can complete their life cycles from egg to adult in about a week, collected water should be emptied or used within the week, rain barrels and containers must be tightly sealed to prevent mosquito entry, and green, unmaintained pools should be cleaned.
If residents need to store water in rain barrels, buckets, and other similar containers longer than a week, these steps should be taken to ensure they are mosquito-proof:
- Cover all water-filled containers with tightly fitting lids.
- Screen all openings such as downspouts from the roof gutters with a 1/16 inch fine mesh to keep mosquitoes out.
- Check for holes in screens monthly to prevent mosquitoes from entering the container and laying hundreds of eggs.
- Use and maintain natural mosquito control products containing Bti in water that must be kept for longer periods.
Take advantage of this rainfall to find and remove all unused containers from around the home that may collect water and contribute to mosquito problems. Other common sources include plant saucers, buckets, tires, pet water bowls, recycling bins, trash cans, and even trash hidden in nearby bushes.
“Mosquito eggs only need a teaspoon of water to complete their life cycle,” said Anais Medina Diaz, public information officer at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD). “By eliminating mosquito breeding sources in your home today, you can protect your family’s health as temperatures warm up in Southern California.”
While residents do their part to tackle the standing water left by the recent rains around their homes, vector control technicians are in the field monitoring disease activity and controlling mosquito populations throughout GLACVCD’s jurisdiction. For more information or to anonymously report green, unmaintained pools, please visit the District’s website at www.glacvcd.org.