Mosquitoes are often a nuisance, especially when weather grows hot and humid. More than a mere nuisance though, mosquitoes can create health hazards because of the diseases they often carry, including West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to people and animals by infected mosquitoes. It is NOT possible to catch the West Nile Virus from another person or animal. It is ONLY transmitted by mosquito bites. Moreover, only certain species of mosquitoes carry the virus and very few are actually infected.
Of those few people who are infected with the virus, most have very mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms whatsoever. In rare cases, the disease can progress to the far more dangerous condition of encephalitis, which is the swelling of the brain.
No matter how rare this disease may be, it’s still best to take precautions against it. To help prevent infections and control mosquito infestations, here are a few tips:
Avoid outside activity at dawn and dusk during the mosquito season (May to October). This is particularly important for the elderly and small children.
Wear protective clothing (long pants and long sleeves) and apply insect repellant when outside.
Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes in them.
Make sure roof gutters drain properly. Clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall.
- Properly disposing of potential water holding containers such as old tires, cans, and bottles.
- Drain all standing water on private property. Avoid standing water in boat and swimming pool covers, as well as toys such as wagons.
- Water in bird baths, ornamental pools, flower pots, and children's wading pools should be changed at least once a week.
- Stock permanent ponds with fish that eat mosquito larvae.
To download the complete West Nile Virus informational brochure, click here.
The West Nile Virus is now considered to be a county-wide issue. Therefore, the County of Los Angeles and Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District are no longer picking up dead birds or investigating individual complaints of standing water.
To prevent the spread of this disease, PRIVATE property owners are responsible for removing any standing water on their property.
To report standing water on PUBLIC properties, please contact the City's Neighborhood Improvement Division at 909.839.7030.
For more information, contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at (562) 944-9656 or visit their website at www.glacvcd.org
More useful links...
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
California West Nile Virus Surveillance Information Center
WNV in Horses:
California Department of Food and Agriculture