FLORENCE — They’re back.
Now that Pinal County seems to be enjoying a more moisture-rich monsoon season, it can only mean something else — more mosquitoes.
And with the nasty critters comes more mosquito-related illness.
This week, during routine mosquito surveillance, the Pinal County Public Health Services District detected the first West Nile virus-positive mosquitoes in the county this season. Mosquito surveillance data is used to help determine the risk of mosquito-borne disease to Pinal County residents and visitors, and it guides county health officials’ disease prevention efforts.
West Nile virus, a disease spread through the bite of certain mosquitoes, is now common in Arizona. Pinal County’s mosquito surveillance program specifically looks for mosquitoes that potentially spread disease.
Not everyone who gets mosquito-borne diseases has symptoms, but for those who do, some may experience lasting or permanent effects. In the worst cases, the diseases can be fatal. County health officials are reminding residents of efforts to help prevent mosquito-borne disease such as West Nile.
“With our monsoon season finally producing some significant rain, it is important that we are all vigilant to prevent mosquito breeding on our property,” said Chris Reimus, who manages the county’s Vector Control Program.
Here are some tips to help prevent mosquitoes and mosquito bites:
- If you have a swimming pool, keep it operational. If you must keep it out of use, make sure you remove the standing water or keep it chlorinated and run the filter daily.
- 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.
- Change water in flower vases, birdbaths, planters, troughs and animal watering pans at least twice a week. Be sure to scrub them out when changing water.
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, and move air-conditioner drain hoses frequently to prevent standing water.
- Even spending a short time outdoors can be long enough to be bitten by a mosquito. Take extra care to use insect repellent and protective clothing. When outdoors, use an EPA-registered and CDC-approved insect repellent.
- Keep mosquitoes outside by having well-fitting screens on both windows and doors.
Pinal County investigates complaints related to disease-causing mosquitoes, such as permanent standing water, green pools or other reports of mosquito activity.
For information on mosquito prevention and control, or to file a complaint, visit the Pinal County Environmental Health Services webpage at http://pinal.gov/ehs or call 866-287-0209.