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    Greater L.A. County Vector Control Does 2 a.m.-5 a.m. Ground Foggings To Kill Adult Mosquitoes In Bixby Oil Field/MarketPlace Areas

    (July 1, 2005) -- Mounting an attack on adult mosquitoes (not just water treatments to suppress pre-mosquito larvae) in an area where West Nile infected mosquitoes were recently found, the Greater L.A. County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) has done three pre-dawn ground foggings in the oil sump/unrestored wetlands area of the Bixby Oil Field and the nearby Long Beach Marketplace.

    Between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. on three alternating days in late June, GLACVCD spread what it calls an ultra low volume of ground based synthetic pyrethroid, similar to pyrethrum derived naturally from chrysanthemum flowers, which has the immediate impact of reducing the number of adult mosquitoes and then dissipates quickly.

    WNV spraying Marketplace area June 2005 only learned about the procedures (which are now concluded) after a news tipster spotted a small sign in the area and let us know.

    We stopped by on June 30 and found this small sign, placed at lower leg level on the south side of 2d St. east of PCH. We reproduce the text below:


    Adult mosquito control to be conducted in this area.

    Weather permitting, the application will be done on Saturday June 25, Monday June 27 & Wednesday June 29 from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.

    Adult mosquitoes will be controlled using a ground-based, ultra low volume of non-residual Scourge® (containing pyrethroid) at the Bixby Oil Field and the Long Beach Marketplace.

    You are advised to remain indoors during the hours posted

    For information please call:
    The Greater Los Angeles County
    Vector Control District (562) 944-9656
    The City of Long Beach
    DHHS Vector Control Program
    (562) 570-4132


    GLACVCD staffers say their data indicate that the ground foggings are estimated to have reduced then-present adult mosquitoes by 85-90% (and possibly more).

    In 2004, GLACVCD (which handles areas of LB north of PCH and east of Lakewood Blvd.) used ground fogging (called "adulticiding" because it kills adult mosquitoes) along the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel River corridors and at Macado Lake in Ken Malloy Harbor Regional Park where West Nile infected mosquitoes were found.

    As described at that time in a written release, District Manager Jack Hazelrigg said the "small amount of active in the form of microscopic droplets, and literally only molecules of the killing agent are used to kill mosquitoes, which essentially negates exposure and risk to people and the environment." The release said it is "one of the least poisonous insecticides to mammals and low in toxicity because it is quickly broken down into inactive forms."

    Minoo Madon, GLACVCD's Scientific-Technical Services Director told that small amounts of the synthetic pyrethroid are dispersed using droplets of mineral oil, killing the mosquitoes and then quickly dissipating.

    He indicated that ground fogging requires specific weather conditions including calm winds and a helpful temperature inversion...and those conditions were present for the recent pre-dawn procedures.

    West Nile virus spreads when mosquitoes bite birds infected with the virus (through a previous bite from an infected mosquito) and then bite people. Authorities say most people bitten by a West Nile infected mosquito show few symptoms or no symptoms, but for reasons still not completely understood about 1 in 10 or 15 may develop serious, potentially life threatening neurological conditions such as encephalitis and meningitis.

    Last year, an elderly ELB woman (area Clark/Wardlow) died and 15 other LB residents were confirmed to have contracted the virus.

    "Symptoms of WNV infection typically begin between 7 to 14 days following the bite of an infected mosquito, and consist of fever, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, headache, and other flu-like symptoms. Elderly and immune suppressed individuals are at much greater risk for developing serious WNV illness such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)," LB's Health Dept. says in a written release.

    On June 15, reported that Long Beach and Cerritos had their first confirmed 2005 instances of West Nile virus mosquitoes. GLACVCD said WNV positive mosquitoes were collected on June 7 and June 10 in the vicinity of the MarketPlace at 2d St./PCH and in the Marina Pacifica areas. (LB's Dept. of Health of Human Services (which handles most of the rest of LB, except the NW corner handled by Compton) said West Nile positive mosquitoes were also collected at about the same time in the "California Bowl" area near Signal Hill).

    "[GLACVCD] will continue maximum efforts in controlling mosquitoes in the vicinity," the agency said in a written release at the time. "Positive mosquitoes from these locations within the District strongly indicates that West Nile virus activity is rapidly increasing," said Mr. Madon in the agency's release at the time.

    On May 27, 2005, reported LB's first WNV infected dead crow in ELB zip code 90815. Nelson Kerr of LB's Dept. of Health and Human Services Vector Control division tells that four other WNV-positive dead crows have since been found in areas including zip codes 90815, 90803 and 90808.

    The LB Health Dept. says in a written release:

    Public Health Officials are continuing to monitor and treat public areas to prevent the spread of infection in Long Beach and urge residents and business owners to protect themselves and their neighbors by following a few simple guidelines:

    • Remove pools of standing or stagnant water, which provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Some common sources of stagnant water are debris piles, buckets, barrels, kid’s toys, and tire swings. Mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle, and they breed most actively in stagnant water.
    • Clear gutters and drains of standing water.
    • Change water in birdbaths frequently.
    • Maintain swimming pools and spas with proper filtration and chlorination levels. Green or dirty pools can breed thousands of mosquitoes in a week’s time, unnecessarily increasing the population’s risk of contracting WNV.
    • Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid run off to gutters and around sprinklers.
    • Limit your time outdoors when you notice mosquito activity primarily at dusk and dawn. If you remain outdoors wear clothing that provide more skin coverage such as long sleeved shirts and pants.
    • Use mosquito repellents containing 10-30% DEET when outdoors and especially between dusk and dawn. The repellent should be sprayed on clothing and exposed skin. Residents should follow instructions on the label. Consult with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations to be used on children under the age of two. Some non-DEET repellent products, which are intended to be applied directly to the skin, may also provide protection from mosquito bites. However, because studies have suggested that other products do not offer the same level of protection, or that protection does not last as long as the products that contain DEET, the CDC recommends that products that contain DEET should be used when possible.
    • Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens and are in good repair.

    American crows and other birds are susceptible to WNV infection, and may be carriers of the virus, which can infect mosquitoes. Residents are encouraged to report dead birds by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD.

    Because of State of California Department of Health Services (DHS) policy, if authorities do not pick up the bird within 24 hours, residents are being advised to dispose of the bird remains. Residents are advised to not handle dead birds with their bare hands. A shovel, cardboard or plastic bag can be used to handle the bird, and it should be placed in a plastic trash bag for disposal.

    If you have any questions regarding mosquito control and monitoring measures in Long Beach, contact the DHHS’ Vector Control Program at 570.4132 or visit .

    To report standing curbside water that has been present for longer than two days, please call the Vector Control Program or the City of Long Beach Public Works at 570.2700.

    Further information about the WNV may be obtained at the State of California Department of Health Services website at , or at the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at

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