Guest article by the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District
Since 1947, Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District’s primary purpose has been to promote public health by preventing and controlling the spread of vector-borne diseases within Orange County. The District provides surveillance and control measures for rats, mosquitoes, filth flies, and Red Imported Fire Ants.
The District’s outreach and education programs inform the public about mosquito and rodent control and prevention methods. Below are frequently asked questions from residents in Huntington Beach:
HOW CAN I MANAGE A RAT ISSUE?
Good environmental management practices are the most effective approaches to roof rat control. Sanitation and good housekeeping are the first steps in a successful rat control program. Homeowners can help control rat populations by following more tips online.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE RED IMPORTED FIRE ANTS (RIFA) VS OTHER ANTS?
To identify RIFA, look for patches of fine granular soil where it doesn’t belong, for example, in the middle of a lawn. Outdoor electrical equipment is often subject to damage by RIFA: Air conditioners, spas, outdoor lighting, and irrigation controllers are all commonly damaged by RIFA in areas where the ants have become established. Report red imported fire ants online.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITOES?
Mosquitoes are active year-round in Orange County. Residents should inspect their properties and reduce or eliminate water sources. To prevent mosquito bites, apply repellent and wear loose, long-sleeved clothing. Learn more ways to take action at our website.
HOW DOES OCMVCD TREAT CERTAIN AREAS?
OCMVCD conducts year-round surveillance and control methods of adult mosquitoes throughout Orange County. These surveillance programs are scientifically planned management tactics and control strategies that reduce the abundance of vectors in a timely manner. If/when necessary, the District will use the program data to determine when an area is suitable for treatment.
CAN I REQUEST OCMVCD TO TREAT MY NEIGHBORHOOD?
The District determines if it is necessary to treat certain areas. Individuals cannot request treatments in their neighborhood. Source reduction is the best method to reduce mosquito numbers. Adult mosquito control only provides temporary relief and does not provide a long-term solution.
If you are experiencing mosquito activity and cannot find breeding sources around the area, please contact the District to request an inspection: at 714-971-2421 or sign up online.
WHAT OTHER RESOURCES DOES THE DISTRICT PROVIDE TO RESIDENTS?
The District has developed do-it-yourself resource pages along with engaging and interactive education platforms for both parents and kids.
HOW CAN I STAY UP TO DATE ON VECTOR-RELATED ALERTS WITHIN MY AREA?
Residents are encouraged to sign up to receive notifications of treatments occurring within their zip codes when evidence of vector abundance reaches certain thresholds.
For more information go to www.ocvector.org.