Mosquito Control Awareness Week

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX  -- The summer's hot weather means pool time, vacations, and unfortunately, more mosquitoes. Now, health officials say we all need to be aware of the possible dangers that the critters can carry.

The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has declared next week (June 23 - June 29)  as the 17th annual "National Mosquito Control Awareness Week".

"During 'Mosquito Week', Environmental Services department's goal will be to educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by our department inspectors," said John Kolman, Environmental Services department director.

Vector Control is the Maricopa County Environmental Services department's division that investigates citizen complaints dealing with mosquitoes, flies and non-native rodents. Vector Control inspectors identify routine breeding sites and apply the appropriate treatments.

They also perform surveillance activities to identify new or potential mosquito breeding sites and work in conjunction with State officials in monitoring and testing of mosquito samples that are collected on a monthly basis and tested for arbo-viruses.

Maricopa County's Public Information Office has made available a multitude of distribution material related to West Nile virus and mosquito awareness. In addition to this material, presentations and educational programs for children, adults, and community organizations are available for residents to take advantage of.

"The overall goal is personal safety," said John Townsend, Vector Control division manager.  Townsend also urged residents to utilize the following tips to maximize their protection from West Nile virus (WNV):

-Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
-If you are outside, cover up by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks, if possible
-Wear light colored clothing
-Use mosquito repellent when mosquitoes cannot be avoided, applying it according to label instructions
-CDC recommends using repellent containing DEET
-Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around the home by removing standing water
-Remove unnecessary clutter
-Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of the home
-Make sure pools and decorative ponds are properly maintained and operational

For more information on West Nile virus, to set-up an appointment to obtain mosquito eating fish at no cost to you, to report green pools, file any mosquito related complaint, register on the Fogging Notification System or for WNV materials or presentations for your group/organization, please call the West Nile Virus General Information and Help Line at (602) 506-0700, or visit

The American Mosquito Control Association, an international organization of nearly 2,000 public health professionals, has been dedicated to preserving the public's health and well-being through safe, environmentally sound mosquito control programs since 1935. 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..