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    LB Health Dept. Issues Mosquito Warning: Get Rid of Standing Water; Recent Rains, Warm Weather Mean Pests Have Started Breeding Early

    (May 6, 2003) -- Saying that standing water from recent storms and subsequent warm weather have started the mosquito breeding season early, LB's Dept. of Health & Human Services today warned LB residents "to clean up any pools of standing, stagnant water."

    In a written release, the city agency noted that mosquitoes can carry diseases such as the deadly West Nile Virus...and can be a genuine nuisance.

    The release said that although mosquito breeding season is generally from May through October, this year's heavy rains in March, followed by warm weather, means "the breeding season has already begun." It added that "the insects need water to complete their life cycle [and] are most active in and around stagnant water."

    LB's Health Dept. said that while CA had only one human case of West Nile Virus last year, "it is likely [CA] will experience a greater challenge from this deadly disease in 2003. [West Nile Virus] was responsible for nearly 300 deaths in the United States in 2002."

    To keep mosquitos under control on residents' personal property, LB's Health Dept. recommends:

    • Dispose of tin cans, discarded tires and plastic containers as they hold standing water
    • Drain or fill low spots in the ground and drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers to prevent moisture from collecting
    • Water in pet feeding bowls should be changed often
    • Clogged roof gutters should be cleaned at least once a year
    • Swimming polls not being used on a regular basis must be cleaned and chlorinated

    "Anyting that contains standing water that is not moved, cleaned or chlorinated, should be elimiated" the Dept. release said.

    In addition, it said residents "should avoid mosquito infested areas at dawn or dusk, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors, use insect repellent products with fewer than 35& DEET for adults and 10% for children and ensure all openable windows are screened."

    The release also noted that while private property is where residents mut focus their attention, there are risks of standing water in other public areas:

    The [LB Dept. of Health & Human Services] program has an active Vector Control Program...[It] provides mosquito surveillance on a weekly basis by monitoring potential breeding sights for mosquito habitation such as flood channels, pump stations, oil fields, ditches, canals, ponds and neighborhood gutters. The program also collects dead birds (crows, hawks, owls, ravens) to determine if they were infected with any viruses. Portions of the city are also served by the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District and the Compton Creek Vector Control District."

    Additional info is available from LB's Environmental Health Program at (562) 570-4132 or on the LB Dept. of Health & Human Services web site:

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