For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
RENO, Nev. – The Washoe County Health District Vector-Borne Diseases Program will conduct its fourth seasonal helicopter larviciding application in the early morning hours of August 9, 2018. The application comes after Washoe County’s first positive tests for West Nile virus in mosquitos were confirmed in late July. There have been no positive human cases reported in 2018. The larviciding will cover the Silver Lake, Swan Lake, Lemmon Valley, Kiley Ranch, Red Hawk, Rosewood Lakes, Butler Ranch, South Meadows, Damonte Ranch, and Washoe Valley areas to prevent mosquito hatching over approximately 800 acres.
Health officials report the applications will consist of Vectolex and Altosid, biological larvicides that only target mosquito larvae, with no affect to humans, fish, water fowl or other beneficial insects such as bees. Halting the growth of biting mosquitos can also prevent the spread of arboviruses like West Nile Virus (WNV), a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. In North America, cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. WNV cases have been reported in all of the continental United States. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not have symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.
While monthly larviciding is expected to reduce the number of mosquitos in the area, health officials remind people that they also should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.
To avoid mosquito bites:
- Wear proper clothing and repellent if going outdoors when mosquitos are most active - in the early morning and evening;
- Use a repellant containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitos from biting you. DEET can be used safely on infants and children 2 months of age and older. Applications can be put directly on the skin and also on clothing;
- Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitos out. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes;
- Clear standing water and any items from around homes that can be potential mosquito breeding-grounds, including pools, planters, children’s sandboxes, wagons or toys, pet bowls, and small puddles underneath and around faucets; and,
- Vaccinate your horses for WNV.
If you are experiencing biting mosquitos call the Vector-Borne Diseases Program at 785-4599, and staff will investigate the source of these adult mosquitos. The Vector-Borne Diseases Program also has mosquito fish available for ponds, troughs and other impoundments containing water which will prevent mosquito larvae from hatching into biting adult mosquitos.
If you are unsure the insects you are seeing are mosquitos rather than midges, check out this easy-to-understand guide: Is it a mosquito or a midge?
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About Washoe County Health District: The Washoe County District Board of Health, through the Washoe County Health District, has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Washoe County, Nevada. Its mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Washoe County through health promotion, disease prevention, public health emergency preparedness, and environmental services. The Board of Health is composed of seven members, including two representatives each from Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County, and a physician licensed to practice medicine in Nevada.