As mosquito season arrives in North Clark County, there are some simple methods residents are encouraged to use to limit their negative impacts.
The Clark County Mosquito Control District recently provided a few options to manage the insects.
First off, it is important to know that Clark County is home to 23 species of mosquitoes.
“They all look the same, but they have different behaviors. We have some species that we can have more in the spring. Some others, more in the fall. Some will bite mainly mammals, including humans. Some other species will bite mainly birds. So they all have different types of behaviors,” Mario Boisvert, with the control district, explained.
Boisvert said the control district has two main types of services — surveillance and operations.
The surveillance sector of mosquito control involves setting traps at around 40 locations throughout Clark County. The goal is to collect different adult mosquitoes to check for West Nile Virus. It hasn’t been previously detected in mosquitos in Clark County, Boisvert said.
The operations sector involves finding stagnant water and other sources that can be a breeding ground for mosquito larvae. They treat larvae with larvicide to kill them off as the best time to go after mosquitoes are when the larva exists in water, Boisvert said.
“Let’s say we could kill, for example, 1,000 larvae in one acre. But if we don’t treat that one acre, eventually those mosquitoes will fly and now we might have to treat, maybe let’s say 10 square miles to kill those mosquitoes,” Boisvert said.
The 23 species of mosquitoes in Clark County certainly all look similar. But some species are more common in the spring compared to others that thrive in the fall. Some will bite mammals and some will bite birds. The control district does research every year to detect any new behaviors in the mosquitoes.
Backyards can be safe havens for mosquitoes and their larvae. Boisvert encourages property owners to manage stagnant water on a weekly basis as some larvae will turn into flying mosquitoes in just over a week’s time.
Pet bowls and bird baths are places that can easily be cleaned to help manage mosquito populations. Boisvert said anything that can contain stagnant water should be cleaned regularly. It doesn’t take much water to cause a backyard mosquito problem.
Those with pools and ponds may have a more difficult time simply cleaning or dumping water, but the Clark County Mosquito Control District has that covered with a free service.
Boisvert said those with larger bodies of stagnant water can go to the control district’s website or call to place a service request. There is a form online that can be filled out. The free service includes a mosquito control technician coming to address the problem.
“Some people are calling because they are seeing mosquitoes and we are setting up traps and just find out that they are not mosquitoes,” Boisvert said.
Often, insects with similar behavior and appearances to mosquitoes are found. If mosquitoes are found, the control district will treat the issue. Boisvert added that aquatic life such as fish will help tremendously with mosquito issues as they eat mosquito larvae.
The Clark County Mosquito Control District is made up of four full-time employees, Boisvert said. In the peak season, which typically ranges from April through October, the district has upwards of 15 employees.
Lastly, Boisvert expressed the importance of dressing appropriately in high impact mosquito areas during the season. The Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites have recommendations for the best types of mosquito repellent.
For more information or to request service, visit ccmcd.org, call 360-574-7906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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