(August 14, 2004) -- A cadre of anti-mosquito staffers from the Greater L.A. County Vector Control District (GLACVCD), who went door to door in part of ELB seeking permission to enter homeowners' private property, discovered 22 active mosquito breeding water sources in backyards in an area bounded by Clark Ave., San Anseline Ave., Parkcrest St. and Spring St.
At the same time, GLACVCD staff found that a golf course, flood control channels and street gutters (which they treat) were clear of breeding mosquitoes.
The information was contained in a report by Mike Shaw, Operations Director for the Greater L.A. County Vector Control District at the August 12 meeting of GLACVCD's governing Board of Trustees which devoted considerable discussion to the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus. The meeting was attended by LBReport.com.
"We've been working hard down there [in Long Beach] and we had a positive human case, and we went down and looked around to see what we've been missing, and we couldn't find a thing. Gutters were clean. Channels were clean. All the ditches were clean. The golf course was clean. The only other possibility was probably backyard sources," Mr. Shaw said.
GLACVCD workers spent two days in the ELB area, some doing service requests and some doing channels...and also knocked on 2,247 doors, Mr. Shaw reported.
Out of those 2,247 homes, 1,013 backyards were inspected. 1,139 were not at home, and 95 refused entry, he said.
In that small area of Long Beach (which LBReport.com estimates is roughly half a mile by 1.3 miles, not quite one square mile) GLACVCD found 22 mosquito breeding sources in backyards, Mr. Shaw told the Board.
"Four swimming pools were breeding, which are large sources, [plus] eight fish ponds, three bird baths and seven other sources, like dog bowls, pots with the dishes underneath" and the like, he said.
Mr. Shaw added, "We're doing what we can, but a lot of it is from backyard sources. And if we can't get in the backyards, we're not getting it all done."
Jack Hazelrigg, Ph.D., Manager of the Greater L.A. County Vector Control District, called the backyard sources "really the contributing factor to West Nile Virus occurring in the communities."
LBReport.com had previously reported that 14 GLACVCD vector control staff went door to door in the area on August 9, the same day an elderly ELB resident who had become seriously ill from the mosquito borne West Nile Virus succumbed to its effects.
GLACVCD is a special district (not a "County" agency) funded by a property tax assessment...and handles mosquito and vector abatement in roughly half of LB (east of Lakewood Blvd. and north of PCH) plus much of the eastern half of L.A. County (excluding the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys) that includes communities along the San Gabriel and L.A. rivers plus the San Fernando valley and Santa Clarita areas.
LBReport.com collected West Nile Virus coverage