Beginning on May 22, 2018, the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District (District) will conduct aerial surveillance of un-maintained swimming pools and other “backyard breeders” such as, boats holding water, ponds without circulation, unused tires, un-maintained hot tubs, and other man-made objects that hold water. “It is crucial for the District to locate and treat these suspected mosquito-breeding sources early in the mosquito season to prevent larger populations from hatching off in the summer, when virus is most active” said Matt Ball, District Manager of Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District.
Public health officials expect the mosquito transmitted West Nile virus (WNV) to be a serious public health concern in California this year. Last year WNV continued to be extremely active in Butte County, as well as the rest of the state and country. “Undoubtedly the number of human cases could have been far worse in the state last year if it had not been for this program and others like it,” Ball said.
The Butte County Sheriff and the District have again joined forces in this effort to protect the public’s health. The Butte County Sheriff’s helicopter will be available to assist in most of the flights that will be required to accomplish this project.
The District has decided to start the helicopter surveillance program in May this year. The hope is to locate problem-breeding sources earlier in the mosquito season lessoning the severity of urban mosquito populations later in the year. Mosquito larvae have already been located in many urban mosquito-breeding sources and if the District delayed the program any longer, several generations of mosquitoes would hatch from these areas heightening the likelihood of virus transmission later in the summer.
Residents are urged to protect themselves from mosquitoes by avoiding peak mosquito activity times, wearing repellent, and preventing mosquito breeding on their property. Residents should inspect their properties for any standing water and do what is necessary to remove the water and safeguard their property to ensure water won’t stand in the future where applicable. Residents are encouraged to report mosquito breeding areas and mosquito problems to the District at 530-533-6038, 530-342-7350, or www.ButteMosquito.com.