September 2020-The primary mission of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District is to protect public health from mosquitoes and vector-borne disease through education, source reduction, performing surveillance, and directly managing mosquito populations so they don’t present a significant health risk. However, we cannot do this alone. We need your help.
West Nile virus is endemic to both Marin and Sonoma counties, and with the recent detection of the virus in a dead bird, it is extremely important for residents to take preventative measures around their homes.
Residents can begin by checking around their property for any items holding standing water. Backyards are the #1 source for mosquito production. Anything that can hold water for more than five to seven days can produce mosquitoes. Keep in mind that mosquitoes need as little as a 1/2 inch of water to complete their life cycle.
Here are a few ways you can help reduce mosquito populations around your home:
- Cover rain barrels and other containers with a mosquito-proof screen (fine mesh-1/16 of an inch).
- Report dead birds to the West Nile Virus Hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online.
- Check septic tank lids to ensure a tight seal and repair any visible cracks.
- Recycle old tires or store in a sheltered area, away from the rain.
- Stock permanent water features with mosquitofish (available for free from the District).
- Inspect areas around your property for containers holding water and dump or drain.
- Report mosquito problems, neglected pools, or any area that may be producing mosquitoes to the District at 707-285-2200 or online at msmosquito.org
Choose the right repellent to protect against disease carrying insects
The purpose of using an insect repellent isn’t just to protect yourself from biting insects, it is also to protect yourself from vector-borne diseases. When choosing an insect repellent, look for one containing one of the following EPA-registered active ingredients:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Some products combine insect repellent and sunscreen. These combination products are not recommended because you usually need to reapply sunscreen more often than insect repellent. If you are going outside in the sun, use sunscreen and repellent separately. Apply sunscreen first, then apply insect repellent on your skin or clothes. Reapply sunscreen as directed.
For more information regarding mosquito repellent download our brochure