OCEANSIDE, CA — The San Diego County Vector Control Program (VCP) will conduct its first routine aerial mosquito-fighting larvicide applications on Oceanside waterways beginning April 27 and April 28.
Larvicide Application helps reduce mosquito breeding and decrease the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission. There are nine waterway areas targeted for application in Oceanside that include approximately 270 acres:
Buena Vista Lagoon
San Luis Rey River
Guajome County Park
Antique Gas/Guajome Adobe
The County has used helicopters to drop batches of solid, granular larvicide on nearly 50 rivers, streams, ponds and other waterways in summer months since the early 2000s. The program keeps mosquito populations down and protects people from mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus.
The larvicides used consists of naturally occurring bacteria that target mosquito larvae but are safe to people, pets, plants, and wildlife. Such treatments to waterways known to breed mosquitoes can reduce mosquito breeding and decrease the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) transmission.
West Nile virus is mainly a bird disease, but it can be transmitted to people and some animals like horses by mosquitoes that first feed on infected birds and then a person or animal.
Public has important role to play
Protecting against mosquitoes has required more help from the public in recent years because of the appearance of a number of types of invasive Aedes mosquitoes that can potentially transmit diseases not naturally found here, including Zika, dengue and chikungunya. While native culex mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile virus breed in larger water bodies reached by the County's larvicide drops, invasive Aedes mosquitoes prefer to live and breed around people's homes and yards.
County Vector Control officials said the best way people can protect themselves from mosquitoes is to follow their "Prevent, Protect, Report" guidelines.
Prevent mosquito breeding
San Diego County residents may be more vulnerable to being bitten by mosquitoes around their homes now because many have been spending more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic. So, remember to dump out or remove any item inside or outside of homes that can hold water, such as plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, garbage cans, toys, old tires, and wheelbarrows. Mosquito fish, available for free by contacting the Vector Control Program, may be used to control mosquito breeding in backyard water sources such as stagnant swimming pools, ponds, fountains and horse troughs.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites
Protect yourself from mosquito-borne illnesses by wearing long sleeves and pants or use insect repellent when outdoors. Use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Make sure screens on windows and doors are in good condition and secured to keep insects out.
Report possible mosquito activity and dead birds
Report increased mosquito activity, or stagnant, green swimming pools and other mosquito-breeding sources, as well as dead birds within 24 hours — dead crows, ravens, jays, hawks and owls — to the County Department of Environmental Health and Quality's Vector Control Program by calling (858) 694-2888 or emailing email@example.com. Also report if you are being bitten by mosquitoes during daylight hours, or if you find mosquitoes that look like invasive Aedes mosquitoes — small, black with white stripes on legs and backs — by contacting the Vector Control Program at (858) 694-2888.
Here are some tips to help you keep your yard from becoming a mosquito breeding ground.