The week of June 21 – June 27, 2009 has been declared the thirteenth annual “National Mosquito Control Awareness Week” by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). During “Mosquito Week” the AMCA’s goal is to educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by mosquito control workers throughout the United States and worldwide.
Mosquito control operations in Montana are more prevalent than many might think, with 31 official mosquito control districts and 24 communities that control mosquitoes independently. And even though West Nile Virus is a relative new comer, some of the districts in Montana date all the way back to the 40’s and 50’s.
Of course the universal goal is to control the number of mosquitoes, which in turn lowers the likelihood of mosquitoes transmitting disease to humans and animals. And fortunately the control efforts can be accomplished by both homeowners and control districts.
The Montana Mosquito and Vector Control Association (MMVCA) recommend to always remember the three D’s of protection from mosquitoes:
• Drain – Many mosquito problems in your neighborhood are likely to come from water-filled containers that you, the resident, can help to eliminate. All mosquitoes require water in which to breed. Be sure to drain any standing water around your house
• Dress – Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing. Some of the 176 mosquito species are attracted to dark clothing and some can bite through tight fitting clothes. When practical, wear long sleeves and pants.
• Defend – Choose a mosquito repellent that has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, such as DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Registered products have been reviewed, approved, and pose minimal risk for human safety when used according to label instructions
To learn more about ways to combat mosquitoes, or to find out about mosquito control in your area, contact your county health official, mosquito control board member, or county extension agent. Information is also available at www.mosquito.org
Published June 17, 2009