The Mosquito Surveillance and Control Program
Here at the Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD), we aim to do everything in our power to keep our community safe from disease. When it comes to combating diseases that are spread by mosquitos, our environmental department runs an aggressive mosquito surveillance and control program. This is a two-part program aimed at tracking and controlling adult mosquito populations within Clark County as well as keeping our community informed about what diseases these mosquitos are found to be carrying.
Our knowledgeable surveillance team uses two different brands of mosquito traps to collect samples of mosquitos for testing. Mosquitos will be collected from 12-15 locations within Clark County once or twice per week throughout the mosquito season. Mosquitos collected are counted, sorted by species and tested for a number of diseases by the Ohio Department of Health. With this information, our mosquito surveillance team is able to pinpoint locations with a larger mosquito population and request fogging in that area, inform the public when a mosquito collection has tested positive for a certain disease, and confirm the effectiveness of a fogging treatment by comparing collection numbers pre-fogging and post-fogging.
The best method of control is to limit the conditions that allow mosquitos to breed. Mosquitos lay eggs in standing water. Our staff responds to complaints of standing water and works with homeowners and local authorities to eliminate standing water in ditches, stagnant swimming pools, and other items commonly found around homes. As funding becomes available, we contract with a pest control agency who works diligently to “knock down” adult mosquito populations through regular misting. Misting is accomplished with a misting machine that is driven slowly on the streets at night to release a cloud of dilute mild insecticide, usually Permethrin. Misting will not work during the day as the cloud will dissipate. The cooler night temperatures allow the mist to remain close to the ground long enough to kill the mosquitos. The mist will be dissipated by morning and will not cause harm to people, plants, or animals. The surveillance team notifies the pest control contractor of areas with higher mosquito populations that are in need of priority fogging.
How to Protect Yourself
1.) Use mosquito repellent when outdoors!
The simplest way to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites and the diseases that they can carry is to use EPA-registered mosquito repellents and closely follow the directions. Repellents containing DEET will provide the most protection. You can also protect yourself even further by wearing long pants and longs sleeves; essentially the more you cover up, the less chance you have of being bitten.
2.) Eliminate standing water around your home
Mosquitos love to lay their eggs in stagnant water. To avoid contributing to the mosquito population, check for things in and around your home that tend to collect rainwater such as: old tires, buckets, toys, containers, clogged rain gutters, etc. In addition to this, things like bird baths, rain barrels, decorative ponds, or swimming pools should either maintain circulation or be cleaned out regularly.
3.) Make your home a “mosquito-free zone”
Keep windows and doors closed, or at least screened to keep mosquitos out. Make sure screens are installed properly and regularly check them for holes or openings where mosquitos may be able to get through.
4.) Personal use of insecticides
If the mosquito population in or around your home becomes too much to handle, you may decide to use an insecticide. It may be easier and safer to contract a pest control agency to do the work, but if you choose to do the task yourself, it is suggested that you check out this information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- For outdoor spraying:https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/OutdoorSpraying-FactSheet.pdf
- For Indoor spraying: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/IndoorSpraying-FactSheet.pdf
5.) Traveling to an affected area?
- Be aware of the disease status in the area in which you are traveling by checking the CDC website for travel advisories,https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. Pregnant women should avoid traveling to areas affected by the Zika virus!
- Protect yourself by wearing bug repellent, covering up with clothing and using mosquito netting around bed if available.
- If you become ill, contact your health provider immediately and inform them of the areas that you have traveled to.
Relevant Mosquito-transmitted Diseases in Our Area
According to the Ohio Department of Health, the diseases that may be transmitted by mosquitos in our area include: Eastern equine encephalitis (EEEV), La Crosse virus (LACV), St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), and West Nile Virus (WNV). More information on these viruses can be found via the following links:
EEEV - http://www.odh.ohio.gov/en/odhprograms/bid/zdp/diseases/eee
LACV - http://www.odh.ohio.gov/en/odhprograms/bid/zdp/diseases/lacv
SLEV - https://www.cdc.gov/sle/
WNV - http://www.odh.ohio.gov/en/odhprograms/bid/zdp/diseases/wnv
Diseases that can occur in our area due to acquisition during travel include: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Dengue virus (DNV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), Malaria, Yellow fever virus (YFV), and Zika Virus (ZikV). More information on these viruses can be found via the following links:
CHIKV - http://www.odh.ohio.gov/en/odhprograms/bid/zdp/diseases/chikv
DNV - https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/
JEV - https://www.cdc.gov/japaneseencephalitis/
Malaria - https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/
YFV - https://www.cdc.gov/yellowfever/
ZikV - http://www.odh.ohio.gov/en/odhprograms/bid/zdp/diseases/zika
Last Reviewed: 11/14/2017 cc