As winter visitors, or snowbirds as they are commonly called, start packing up to head back home for the late spring and summer; there is another visitor moving into Pinal County - mosquitoes.
These are the same mosquitoes that are associated with human diseases such as West Nile Virus and Zika Virus and they can breed in your own back yard. It is important not only that permanent residents maintain their yards to prevent mosquito breeding, but winter visitors can help stamp out this unruly pest.
Chris Reimus, who manages the Pinal County Vector Control Program, said, "Everyone, even our winter visitors, can chip in to help our community have a safe and healthy summer by preventing mosquito breeding on their property."
To help prevent mosquito breeding in your yard:
Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Check for items outside the home that collect water, such as cans, bottles, jars, buckets, old tires, drums and other containers and get rid of them. Fill any holes where water may stand.
Change water in flower vases, birdbaths, planters, troughs, and animal watering pans at least twice a week.
If you are leaving your property for an extended period of time, put items that can hold standing water in a location where they will not fill with water during summer storms. Mosquitoes can breed in areas as small as a bottle cap!
Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently to prevent standing water.
If you have a swimming pool, keep it operational. If you must keep it out of use, make sure you remove the standing water, keep it chlorinated, or run the filter daily.
Even being outdoors for a few minutes can be long enough to get a mosquito bite. If you must go outside when mosquitoes may be present, day or night, take extra care to use insect repellent and wear protective clothing. When outdoors, use an EPA-registered and CDC recommended insect repellent. Pregnant women and those who may become pregnant should be especially careful to avoid mosquito bites.
This week, the Pinal County Public Health Services District (PCPHSD), Vector Control Program is beginning to conduct regular mosquito surveillance throughout the County. This surveillance data is used to help determine the risk of mosquito borne disease to Pinal County residents and visitors and it guides PCPHSD's disease prevention efforts. Pinal County also investigates complaints related to disease causing mosquitoes, such as permanent standing water, green pools, or other reports of mosquito activity. If you would like information on mosquito prevention and control, or to file a complaint, visit the Pinal County Environmental Health Services webpage at http://pinalcountyaz.gov/ehs
, or call 866-287-0209.