Rains provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes

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Mosquitoes are laid as eggs which hatch into larvae (wigglers), develop into pupae (tumblers) and emerge as adults. (www.nola.gov/mosquito)

With all the rainfall New Orleans has received recently, the city’s Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board is urging residents to be vigilant in removing standing water from their property.

Mosquitoes can develop from egg to adult in seven days in the summer heat, so it is important to inspect yards weekly to empty containers and change water in those that cannot be emptied. Pet dishes and other containers kept outside should be scrubbed thoroughly at least once a week to remove the eggs that have been deposited.

Trash and clutter — including buckets, tarps and any other items that could collect water — should be removed, public health officials urge. Make sure swimming pools and fountains are operational and circulating. If you know of illegal dumping or an unattended swimming pool, reported it by calling 311.

Rain barrels and other water-collection devices must be screened, and collected water should be used within one week. Turn over wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children’s toys or anything else that could collect water.

Discarded tires are easily filled with water and collect leaf litter, providing a prime spot for mosquito larvae. Residents can place up to four tires on the second trash pick-up of the week, stacked curbside along with their household trash. Tires in front of abandoned lots will not be collected but can be moved in front of a residence with curbside collection. Residents can also bring up to five tires to the city’s Recycling Drop-off Center at 2829 Elysian Fields Ave. on the second Saturday of each month between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Orleans Parish this year. However, the mosquito board urges residents of New Orleans to protect themselves from mosquito bites. West Nile virus cycles between wild birds and mosquitoes and can be transmitted to people by the bite of an infected mosquito.

While the majority of West Nile virus infections are asymptomatic, the virus can cause serious symptoms, especially for those above 65 years old and older or in people with compromised immune systems.

While outside, use EPA-approved repellents, wear long sleeves and pants, and considering using fans to keep mosquitoes away from sitting areas. To avoid mosquitoes from entering your residence, keep windows and door screens in good repair.

For additional information regarding West Nile virus, visit the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. For information on the city’s mosquito control efforts, see www.nola.gov/mosquito.

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