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Health District recommends vector vigilance
Increased mosquito activity is expected due to heavy winter and spring precipitation

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021

With increased water in the area due to the frequent winter and spring storms that brought record-breaking precipitation into the area, the Washoe County Health District is anticipating increased mosquito activity this year. “It is especially important that residents take action to address potential mosquito breeding areas and utilize preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites,” said Washoe County District Board of Health Chairwoman Kitty Jung. 

According to health officials, it only takes a few days of warm temperatures for mosquitos and other insects to become active. Mosquitos are vectors, an insect that can transmit a disease from one plant or animal to another, including humans, so residents need to take precautions to prevent being bitten. Most typically in Washoe County, the diseases mosquitos occasionally carry are the West Nile, St Louis, and Equine Encephalitis viruses. In other areas of the country and the world, mosquitos are known to transmit malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, zika, and other diseases. 

The Washoe County Health District encourages everyone to avoid biting insects by taking the following precautions: 

  • Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts and apply repellent such as Deet, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or other natural products to protect yourself from biting mosquitos. Two layers of repellent may be applied, one on the skin and a second on clothing.
  • Repair tears in doors and window screens around your home or office, or keep them closed to keep mosquitos outside.
  • Remove standing water or any objects that can trap or collect water around your property which make breeding grounds for mosquitos. Mosquitos can breed in very small amounts of water, like planters, pet food bowls, toys, tires, and other items lying around homes and yards.
  • If you have ponds, troughs or water features around your property, contact the Washoe County Health District Vector-Borne Disease Prevention Program to see if free Mosquito Fish are available. Mosquito Fish feed on mosquito larvae before they mature into biting insects.

If you notice increased mosquito activity, call the Washoe County Health District Vector-Borne Disease Prevention Program at (775)785-4599 to investigate the source of the mosquitos. 

For more information on Washoe County’s Vector-Borne Disease Prevention Program, visit https://www.washoecounty.us/health/programs-and-services/vector-borne-diseases/mosquito_borne_encephalitis.php. For information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) visit https://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/.


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