Mosquitoes Season is Upon Us!
Summer provides a great time to participate in a variety of outdoor activities. Unwelcome mosquitoes, however, can make many outdoor activities less enjoyable. Familiarity with basic mosquito biology and some simple precautions can help reduce the negative impacts of mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes complete the early stages of their life cycle in stagnant water in places ranging from ponds, marshy areas, and irrigated pasture-lands, to gutters, cavities in trees, and bird baths. During the summer, nearly any water left standing for at least one week can provide suitable conditions for larval mosquitoes to develop into adults.
Adult female mosquitoes take blood meals from vertebrate hosts to obtain protein required for egg production. In addition to causing an irritating allergic reaction, mosquito bites can facilitate disease transmission. West Nile virus is an example of a disease transmitted by mosquitoes in the Salt Lake Valley.
The South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District (SSLVMAD) seeks to promote public health and quality of life by reducing the number of larval mosquitoes that develop to the adult stage. District technicians regularly inspect known larval mosquito habitat in the Salt Lake Valley and apply mosquito control measures as needed. Treatments targeting adult mosquitoes are also applied when appropriate.
You can help control the population of mosquitoes by:
- Eliminating unnecessary standing water from your property.
- Emptying and refreshing desirable standing water at least weekly.
- Treating livestock watering troughs and ornamental ponds with mosquito control products or fish (this service is available free of charge from the SSLVMAD).
- Reporting other standing water to the SSLVMAD.
Additionally, the following suggestions can help you avoid being bitten by mosquitoes:
- Use mosquito repellents approved by the Environmental Protection Agency according to instructions on the product label.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible when outdoors.
- Avoid outdoor activities during times of peak mosquito activity (between dusk and dawn for several species of mosquitoes including disease vectors known to occur in Utah).
The South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District would like to wish everyone a safe and pleasant summer. For additional information about mosquitoes and mosquito control or to submit a request for service please visit www.sslvmad.org.
Zika virus has made headlines in recent months in response to a sharp increase in reported disease incidence especially in Central and South America. Travel related cases of Zika virus have also been reported in the United States, including in Utah. The mosquito species Aedes aegypti has been implicated as the primary vector responsible for much of the recent Zika virus transmission. Inasmuch as Utah is outside the current range of Aedes aegypti and other mosquito species suspected to be potential vectors of Zika virus, local transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes in Salt Lake County is unlikely.
A pattern of range expansion into areas not previously inhabited in the United States has been observed in some mosquito species, including vectors of Zika virus and other diseases. Efforts to reduce the likelihood of successful establishment of inadvertently introduced mosquito species would therefore be prudent.
Water accumulated in artificial containers of all shapes and sizes frequently found in urban and suburban settings is among the preferred habitat for some potentially invasive mosquito species including competent disease vectors. Such habitat is also well suited for local mosquitoes capable of spreading West Nile virus. Eliminating unnecessary standing water in discarded containers, tires, clogged rain gutters, etc. and treating desirable standing water with mosquito control products can help prevent development of mosquitoes and thereby reduce the risk of establishment of introduced mosquito species and control the population of indigenous mosquitoes, including vectors of West Nile virus.
The South Salt Lake Valley Mosquito Abatement District works hard to control mosquitoes before they become a nuisance or health risk by monitoring mosquito populations, applying mosquito control treatments as needed, and responding promptly to concerns about mosquitoes.
For additional information about mosquitoes and mosquito control or to submit a request for service please visit www.sslvmad.org. Additional information about Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases can be obtained from the Salt Lake County Health Department, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.