Over the past few weeks the Mohave County Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Division (MCEHD) has been conducting mosquito surveillance in response to public complaints. The MCEHD uses the CDC’s recommended matrix as a guide of when to fog.
The matrix prescribes fogging within two square miles when there is a West Nile Virus (WNV) positive mosquito sample, human or horse. As of this year, we have not received any WNV positive results in Mohave County.
However, the matrix also prescribes fogging if over 300 storm mosquitos are caught in one trap or if 30 Culex species are caught. MCEHD has historical data indicating Culex species are present.
Additionally, the number of mosquitos did exceed 300 in one trap that was set in a populated area of Mohave Valley this past weekend. The area is located near 9880 Vanderslice Rd, Mohave Valley.
We believe it is in the best interest of the public’s health to conduct a fogging event in that area.
Adult mosquito control application will begin on Thursday evening, May 26th, around 8:30 p.m., weather permitting (ground fogging cannot occur during rain or high winds). Baron Pest Control was awarded the contract to provide larvacide and fogging services within Mohave County and will be conducting the ground fogging application. Application will be made in the Mohave Valley area near 9880 Vanderslice Rd.
The proposal submitted by Baron Pest Control states that the insecticide to be used is Pyronyl Crop Spray. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, this is an insecticide registered for use against mosquitoes made from pyrethrins.
Pyrethrins are insecticides that are derived from the extract of chrysanthemum flowers. Types of products that contain pyrethrins include indoor bug bombs, human head-lice treatments, and pet flea sprays.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends the following steps to help reduce possible exposure to insecticides during spraying:
- Whenever possible, remain indoors with windows closed and air conditioning turned off when spraying is taking place.
- If you have to remain outdoors, avoid eye contact with the spray. If you get pesticide spray in your eyes, immediately rinse them with water or eye drops.
- Your child’s health should not be affected by the low levels of pesticides used in mosquito control. However, bring laundry and toys indoors before spraying begins and wash with soap and water if exposed to pesticides during spraying.
- Bring your pets indoors, and cover ornamental fish ponds to avoid direct exposure.
- Cover outdoor tables and play equipment or rinse them off with water after spraying is finished.
- Cover swimming pool surfaces when it is feasible (given the small concentrations of pesticides used, however, special precautions or waiting periods are not usually necessary for outdoor swimming pools.
- Wash exposed skin surfaces with soap and water if you come in contact with pesticides.
- Wash exposed fruits and vegetables, such as homegrown or purchased from an outside vendor, with water before storing, cooking or eating them.
- There is no need to relocate during spraying, but consult your physician if you have physical or psychological concerns regarding the spraying.
- If you think pesticides are making you sick, seek medical attention as necessary.
Individuals with questions about pesticides should call the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378 from 6:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PST. The NPIC is staffed by trained pesticide specialists who have toxicology and environmental chemistry education and training needed to provide answers to pesticide questions.
It is important for everyone to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Reducing your risk of bites will reduce the potential of West Nile Virus transmission. These precautions include:
- Empty or discard items that collect water such as bottles, jars, buckets, old tires and other containers.
- Change water in birdbaths, planters, kid’s pools and animal watering pans at least twice a week.
- Repair leaky pipes and faucets and reposition air conditioner drain hoses frequently.
- Fix or install window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
- Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks while outdoors and limit time outdoors from dusk to dawn as this is when many mosquitoes are active and bite.