Monsoon 2017 is approaching and officials with the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department want you to do your part to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
Kara Cox, a vector control specialist with the county, says mosquitoes breed in standing water. That’s why it’s important for people to hunt and remove anything in their yard that can collect water.
“If you don't take care of your standing water, you're going to have a huge mosquito problem,” said Cox.
She urges people to think big and small from pots to coolers, to children’s bikes and toys.
“A (water bottle) cap full of water is all it takes and that can produce hundreds of mosquitoes,” said Cox. “You should take action and get your neighbors involved. It's real important that the whole neighborhood knows, hey that if there is standing water, we've got to try and combat the mosquito.”
However, you don’t have to drain your ponds. Cox said the county will give you free mosquito-eating fish if you ask, but it’s advised to call ahead first to make sure they’re in stock.
Cox is gearing up for a busy bug season. She’s responsible to helping set up 700 mosquito traps a week. She collects the trapped mosquitoes daily and takes them to the county’s lab to test for diseases like Zika and West Nile Virus.
Maricopa County’s campaign “Fight the Bite,” encourages everyone to take extra precautions when outside: cover-up any exposed skin, wear pants and long sleeve, light colored shirts, use bug repellent that has the ingredient DEET in it, burn citronella candles and use oscillating fans on the patio and try to limit outdoor activity at dawn and dusk.
If you have a mosquito problem in your neighborhood or issues with a neighbor who isn’t doing his or her part in removing standing water, you can file a mosquito complaint with the county by calling 602-506-6616.
For more information, visit www.fightthebitemaricopa.org or call the county’s mosquito information hotline at 602-506-0700.
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