(July 2, 2005) -- LB's Health Dept. is urging residents to "take precautions to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites" following heavy rains and warm summer temperatures "that provide perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes."
The agency notes that as of June 20 [as previously reported by LBReport.com], six dead birds tested positive for West Nile in zip codes 90803, 90808, 90814 and 90815. It adds that six positive mosquito traps have been identified in 90803 and 90806.
The agency says it has "increased the number of permanent mosquito traps, and has increased larvicidal treatment in the affected areas of the City. All other City areas continue to be treated with larvicides."
LB's Dept. of Health handles mosquito control in roughly half the city (west of Lakewood Blvd. and south of PCH); the eastern half is handled by Greater L.A. County Vector Control; the northwest corner is part of the Compton anti-mosquito district.
LB's Health agency advises:
- Limit your time outdoors when you notice mosquito activity, primarily at dusk and dawn.
- Cover up: Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, and socks sprayed with mosquito repellent while outdoors, and especially between dawn and dusk.
- Spray: 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. Consult with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations to be used on children under the age of two. NOTE: Updated guidance on repellents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approves the use of products containing the ingredients DEET or picaridin for longer-lasting repellent protection, and oil of lemon eucalyptus (plant based repellent) for protection similar to low concentrations of DEET. However, DEET is the active ingredient that has been best studied.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water, which provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Mosquito-proof homes: Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens and are in good repair.
LB's Health Dept. asks residents to report dead birds (especially crows, which are especially susceptible to West Nile) by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD. It says the State of California's Health Department policy is if authorities don't 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 then it should be placed in a plastic trash bag for disposal."
Further info: LB DHHS Vector Control Program at (562) 570-4132 or www.longbeach.gov/health.
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