ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo – Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been discovered in communities ranging from Lemay to Florissant, although no human cases have been reported, according to the St. Louis County Department of Health.
Positive results have also been reported in mosquitoes in unincorporated North County, Bel-Ridge, Normandy, Olivette, Jennings and unincorporated Lemay.
The Health Department routinely collects mosquito samples to test and help determine where to focus control efforts. Vector Control monitors and treats standing water in public areas as part of its preventative larviciding program. To find out where the county will be spraying, call 615-4-BUG (615-4284) for the nightly mosquito-spraying schedule.
“Positive mosquito tests are a reminder that preventative measures are important,” said Saint Louis County Health Department Director Dr. Dolores J. Gunn. “Even though serious West Nile Virus cases in humans are rare, it is important to minimize our exposure. We can do this by eliminating opportunities for mosquitoes to breed and multiply, and protect ourselves by using repellants,” Dr. Gunn said.
Here are steps residents can take to reduce the opportunities for mosquitoes to flourish:
· At least once a week, drain water from garbage cans, buckets, toys, flowerpots, wading pools, pet dishes, and other objects that collect water. Change water in birdbaths at least once a week.
· Keep gutters cleaned out, and repair any tears in door and window screens.
· Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and light colors outdoors.
· Spray clothing with repellents containing DEET or picaridin, making sure to follow the directions on the label.
· Look for products containing the active ingredient methoprene or Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) to place in birdbaths or ponds, to prevent mosquitoes from developing.
· Flexible drainage pipe is commonly used to drain water from downspouts. A big drawback is that it holds water and breeds mosquitoes if not properly sloped when installed.
For more information on mosquito prevention, contact the County Vector Control office at 314-615-0680 or visit the Health Department’s website http://www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness.