The Ouachita Parish Mosquito Abatement District is doing everything possible to keep you and your family safe and comfortable this summer. Below are some suggestions on how you can protect yourself. You can also download and print a checklist of places around your home which are potential breeding sites for mosquitoes. Please check around your home, your apartment or your place of business to eliminate as many of these sites as possible. Your cooperation will lessen the chances of anyone contracting St. Louis Encephalitis this coming summer.
Quick list for personal safety:
Try to limit outdoor activities after dark as much as possible.
If you must be outside at night, wear loose fitting, light weight clothing; i.e., long sleeve shirts and long pants.
Purchase and use a good mosquito repellent. Follow directions on package.
Do not put repellents on hands or faces of small children.
Check screens on windows and doors for damage and repair as necessary.
Consider burning citronella candles as a deterrent when involved in night time activities out of doors.
Now is the time for every citizen of Ouachita Parish to do their part in the fight against Encephalitis. It is very likely that there are places around your home where mosquitoes can breed. The mosquito which transmits St. Louis Encephalitis, Culex quinquefasciatus, is the one we are primarily concerned with at this time. Most of our efforts will be directed toward controlling this species. However, these same efforts will also help to control other species.
How can you help?
Get rid of old tires, bottles, tin cans, and other containers which may hold water.
Dump and refill plastic wading pools weekly. Empty pools and other toys completely and store indoors when not in use.
Birdbaths, pet watering dishes and other necessary water containers need to have water changed twice a week.
Cover water collection barrels (and other containers) with screen. Make sure there are no gaps around the edge.
What We Do:
1. Surveillance: the entire parish will be monitored to determine where our services are most needed. Various kinds of traps will be placed in strategic locations. The mosquitoes collected will be checked to determine the species. The species capable of carrying encephalitis will be sent to a laboratory for testing. Caged chickens will also be placed around the parish. Blood will be drawn from them every week and sent to the lab to check for viral infection.
2. Larviciding: The mosquito that transmits St. Louis encephalitis breeds in septic water, such as sewage ditches, oxidation ponds and other areas holding stagnant water. These areas will be treated on a regular basis.
3. Adulticiding: Adult mosquitoes are killed using chemical sprays from an airplane, spray trucks or hand held foggers. Such applications will be made when appropriate.
4. Source reduction: When sources of standing water are physically removed, mosquitoes do not have any where to breed. Every citizen needs to help in this effort by following these suggestions.
Personal Safety Tips:
1. Whenever possible avoid being outdoors at dusk or dawn.
2. Use insect repellants when outside. Lotion forms are available that can be rubbed on face and neck. Sprays may be used on the rest of the body.
3. Wear light weight, loose fitting clothes (long pants & long sleeve shirts) to cover as much of your body as possible. Remember to spray the clothing, also.
4. Avoid staying in areas where there is tall grass and other shrubs. These are places where adult mosquitoes rest.
5. Repair or replace torn and damaged screens on windows and doors.
6. The mosquito life cycle revolves around water. Remove as many possible breeding sites as you can, from around your home.
Remember: It is true that some mosquitoes travel long distances, but the ones which carry St. Louis Encephalitis usually don't travel more than 300 feet from their breeding site!
For Assistance, Please Contact
The Ouachita Parish Mosquito Abatement District.