Protect Against Mosquitoes and Ticks During Warmer Weather
Warmer temperatures approaching next week may result in increased mosquito and tick activity in Santa Clara County. Officials from the Vector Control District encourage the public to be diligent in inspecting and maintaining their properties, themselves and their pets to reduce the risk of mosquito and tick infestations. REDUCING MOSQUITO POPULATIONS If you take just a few minutes to look around your yard, patio or property, you can eliminate sources of standing water to help discourage mosquito breeding and prevent the spread of West Nile Virus. 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. Check items such as flowerpots and planter bases, toys, cans, leaky water faucets and sprinklers, rain gutters, buckets, pools, ponds, and old tires. • Replace water in outdoor pet water bowls frequently. • 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 PREVENTION Warming temperatures in the county are also 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. 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. The prevention of vector-borne disease is one of Vector Control District’s primary goals. We encourage residents to help minimize risks from mosquitoes and ticks through simple adjustments to their daily routines. REPORTING DEAD BIRDS, COMPLAINTS Birds can be carriers of mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile Virus. If you find dead birds, contact the State’s 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.