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    Mosquito Mystery: Greater L.A. County Vector Control Crews Trudge Door To Door Thru ELB Neighborhood Distributing Info & Trying To Spot West Nile Mosquito-Breeding Sources

    (July 30, 2005) -- In the shadow of CSULB's Pyramid to the west, nearly a dozen anti-mosquito specialists from the Greater L.A. County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) went door to door through an ELB neighborhood today (Sat. July 30), hand-delivering information and possibly seeking permission to enter backyards to find hidden standing water sources contributing to persistent West Nile Virus (WNV) infected mosquitoes in the area.

    The agency focused on an area roughly from Palo Verde Ave. to Studebaker Rd., from roughly Atherton St. (plus areas a bit south east of CSULB) and worked northward in hopes of reaching Willow St. by day's end.

    GLACVCD in ELB July 30/05GLACVCD Vector Control Specialist Fernando Rojas (photo right) makes his way up one of the neighborhood streets. He said he encountered some residents who didn't know how to distinguish between dangerous mosquitoes and benign flying bugs. ..and many residents were grateful he came by. He and other GLACVCD staffers left door-handle fliers [text below] when no one was home. previewed GLACVCD's action yesterday...and we were curious to see how things were going. We found multiple staffers going door to door shortly after 9:00 a.m..

    GLACVCD in ELB July 30/05We also spotted Mike Shaw, GLACVCD Operations Manager, on scene along Atherton St. east of Palo Verde, keeping an eye on things.

    GLACVCD in ELB July 30/05We asked Mr. Shaw about the east-west Atherton drainage ditch (a local sore point), plus the nearby larger Los Cerritos drain (north-south in the area), plus gutter standing water in some areas. Mr. Shaw acknowledged these are a concern...but said his crews already know about them and are treating them on a 7-10 day cycle (sufficient in most weather to prevent pre-adult larvae from developing into adult mosquitoes), sometimes on 5-7 day cycles if resources permit.

    "We're aware of the area's visible sources and our crews are treating them so they can't breed," Mr. Shaw said. He emphasized, "It's the sources we don't know about -- things in backyards that we can't see and haven't treated that we're concerned about. We suspect some of these are part of the problem."

    GLACVCD in ELB July 30/05He noted that within feet of where we stood, an underground neighborhood drain had a blue mark...meaning the agency had treated it and would continue to do so.

    Mr. Shaw noted that some homes in the area have elevated crawl spaces...and sometimes a broken pipe can create a leak under the house, pooling water and creating a breeding source.

    GLACVCD in ELB July 30/05By the time we'd finished our brief conversation with Mr. Shaw, Vector Control Specialist Rojas (left) had covered the length of the block and met up with GLACVCD Vector Control Specialist Saeed Tabatabaeepour, who'd been covering an adjacent area. Together they coordinated the next few blocks of their day-long task.

    GLACVCD in ELB July 30/05Meanwhile, south of Atherton, we spotted another GLACVCD staffer making the laborious door to door trek in the area east of Palo Verde around Iroquoid Ave.

    The GLACVCD fliers distributed to residents or left on doors said in pertinent part:

    [Greater L.A. County Vector Control District text]

    West Nile Virus Has Been Confirmed In This Area

    We are searching your neighborhood for standing water that could breed mosquitoes capable of transmitting West Nile Virus. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant, standing water. This disease is transmitted to humans and animals by infected mosquitoes."

    Here's How You Can Make A Difference

  • Eliminate standing water from your property. Please check discarded tires, jars, buckets, cans, and pet bowls.
  • Repair leaking exterior faucets
  • Maintain swimming pools and spas.
  • Avoid over-watering
  • Change water in bird baths at least once a week.

    Follow These Precautions

  • Avoid activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are active.
  • Apply mosquito repellent containing DEET when outside.
  • Wear protective clothing (loose, light colored, long sleeve shirts and pants).
  • Mosquito-proof your home with tight-fitting screens on windows and doors.
  • The flier cites the agency's phone number (562 944-9656) and website ( for further info.

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