Residential Checklist For Mosquito Breeding Sites
Mosquito trucks will begin spraying in May and continue until September. (Possibly longer if necessary). Spraying will be at dusk on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please contact Town Hall if you are experiencing issues with mosquitoes and we will setup an inspection. Inspection sheets are available at town hall to assist you in eliminating your problem areas.
Mosquitoes carry and transmit several diseases that infect humans and animals, such as birds and horses. In Alabama, mosquitoes transmit diseases including West Nile Virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, St.Louis encephalitis, and La Cross encephalitis. The Vector Control Division strives to control the mosquito population in order to protect human health and to preserve the quality of life of the people by reducing the number of pestiferous and disease - carrying mosquitoes while maintaining the integrity of the environment.
Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and it is primarily spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedesalbopictus) is common in our area and has the potential to carry the Zikavirus, but at this time, the Zika virus is not in our local mosquito population. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her baby during pregnancy and a man can sexually transmit Zika to his sex partners. Zika has been linked to birth defects and Guillain-Barre syndrome. The mosquitoes that can transmit the Zika virus like to breed near humans in containers and other items around the home that can collect as little as a teaspoon of standing water. Unfortunately, due to its preferred habitat and feeding behavior (daytime biter), the mosquito fog trucks may not be very effective against the Asian tiger mosquito, that is why it is very important to remove or treat any standing water around the home, and to wear proper protective clothing and an EPA - registered insect repellent if outdoors while mosquitoes are active (please see details below). If traveling, please visit www.cdc.gov/zika for current out break locations and recommended travel precautions. For the most current information on Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Alabama, please go to www.adph.org/mosquito.
How To Reduce Exposure
- Stay indoors when mosquitoes are most active. Historically, this has been during the dawn and dusk hours; however, the Asian Tiger Mosquito has become the predominant mosquito in residential areas. This species is an aggressive daytime biter. Click here for more information on the Asian Tiger Mosquito.
- If you go outdoors, wear light - colored, tightly woven, loose clothing and insect repellent.
- Wear enough insect repellent to cover skin and clothes that contain one of the following EPA registered ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus/PMD, or IR3535. Follow all label instructions for insect repellents!
- Keep window and door screens shut and in good condition. Repair any holes.
- Inspect your yard for places a mosquito could use to breed. Mosquitoes require very little water in order to breed, in some cases, as little as a teaspoon. The best form of control is to remove any standing water from your property. This can include the following:
- Dispose of containers that collect water, such as buckets, cans, bottles, and jars;
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets, unclog drains and gutters;
- Empty and scrub bird baths, flower vases, potted plant dishes, pet bowls, and animal troughs twice a week to remove mosquito eggs;
- Dispose of unused tires. Overturn or store under cover wheelbarrows, tubs, wading pools when not in use;
- Fill tree holes with sand or mortar;
- Remove water from children's toys several times a week; and
- Keep weeds, vines, and grass trimmed because adult mosquitoes like to rest in dense vegetation.
Mosquito Surveillance and Pesticide Applications
During the mosquito season, the Vector Control Division surveys the city for breeding areas and concentrated adult mosquito populations. Breeding areas are removed, if possible, or treated with a mosquito larvicide. City streets are fogged with a mosquito adulticide where elevated adult mosquito populations are found. Click here for more information on mosquito biology, prevention, control, and diseases. If you have any questions or are experiencing a mosquito problem in your area, please call (256) 532-1915 or send an email to Cheryl.Clay@adph.state.al.us.