DeKalb County Board of Health begins seasonal mosquito trappingAn Asian Tiger mosquito. Photo provided by Orkin.
Decatur, GA — Mosquitoes are back and with recent rains, the insects are out and reproducing in areas with standing water. The DeKalb County Board of Health’s summer mosquito surveillance team is already at work, according to an announcement from the city of Decatur.
The Board of Health deployed mosquito traps throughout the county to monitor for diseases mosquitoes can transmit to people. The traps are in areas with little foot traffic but they can be identified by read and white signs.
Once the mosquitoes are trapped, they are examined under a microscope and sorted by gender and species. Appropriate mosquitos are then tested for specific viruses and the main virus of concern in the Atlanta area is West Nile virus, according to the announcement.
“In DeKalb County last year, there were 25 West Nile virus-positive mosquito collections from 22 sites and one case of human infection,” the announcement says.
Technicians also work with residents to eliminate mosquitoes and measures include placing larvicide in areas with standing water, such as inside storm drains. This prevents young mosquitoes from becoming flying, biting adult insects.
According to the announcement, the Board of Health reminds residents to take the precautions over the Fourth of July holiday and throughout the summer and fall:
– Reduce mosquito breeding in your yard by eliminating standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires.
– Discourage mosquitoes from resting in your yard by trimming tall grass, weeds and vines.
– Make sure window and door screens fit tightly to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
– Reduce your outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus are most active.
– Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Apply according to label instructions.
– Spray clothing with products containing permethrin according to label instructions.
– Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk and in areas with large numbers of mosquitoes.
For more information about West Nile virus, contact the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Environmental Health division at (404) 508-7900 or visit the Board of Health’s website.