Due To Flooding, City Urges Residents To Protect Themselves, Homes From Mosquitoes
NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans is reminding residents of the precautions they should take to protect themselves and their homes from mosquitoes, which are known to transmit diseases like Zika virus, West Nile and chikungunya.
Because of the recent heavy rainfall and high temperatures in New Orleans, the city is at a greater risk of seeing an elevated number of mosquitoes in the area, City officials said. At this time, there are no locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus in New Orleans or Louisiana; however, travel-related cases have been identified in New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana.
Additionally, there are no cases of West Nile or chikungunya in New Orleans.
For more information about mosquito prevention
Mosquitos breed in standing water. Therefore, residents are strongly encouraged to assist in reducing mosquito populations around their homes and businesses by removing trash and clutter; disposing of discarded tires and containers that can hold water; turning over wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children's toys or anything that could collect water.
For tips on how to inspect your yard for mosquitoes
The New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board (Mosquito Control Board) maintains a robust mosquito surveillance program, and earlier this month, the city announced plans to allocate an additional $500,000 to more aggressively target the two mosquito species that are the primary carriers of Zika virus, the Yellow fever mosquito and the Asian Tiger mosquito. The Mosquito Control Board uses an integrated mosquito management approach which includes mosquito population surveillance, public education, source reduction, eliminating mosquito breeding sites, biological control and pesticides when appropriate. Spray trucks and airplane spraying are also used when needed.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu has also urged Congress to appropriate money to be used for local preparedness and vector control. In May, he testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in support of the Obama Administration’s request of $1.9 billion in federal emergency supplemental appropriations funding to respond the threat of the Zika virus. Click here for his testimony external link.
In April 2016, the City of New Orleans released a comprehensive plan external link to address the Zika Virus threat. The plan guides coordination among various departments and identifies preparedness and response initiatives to be taken in the city. Currently, the Mosquito Control Board and the New Orleans Health Department are coordinating with key partners to provide information about the Zika virus to the public and conduct door-to-door outreach in high-risk neighborhoods across the city. Partner agencies include the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine and the Louisiana Mosquito Control Association.
For more information about the Zika virus
• Reduce mosquito exposure by limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn.
• Use air-conditioning and make sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside.
• If outside for long periods of time, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
• The CDC recommends using repellents containing EPA-registered active ingredients including DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon-eucalyptus.
• When using repellent, always follow the recommendations on the product label.
Protecting Your Home and Business
• Eliminate standing water around your home, where mosquitoes breed.
• Remove trash and clutter, dispose of discarded tires and containers that can hold water. Turn over wading pools, buckets, trash cans, children's toys or anything that could collect water.
• Change water weekly in containers that cannot be removed, such as pet dishes or bird baths. Scrub the side of the containers each week to remove the eggs that have been deposited.
• Rain barrels and other water collection devices must be screened and collected water should be used within one week.
• Aerate ornamental pools, fountains and sugar kettles or stock them with fish.
• Report illegal dumping, water leaks and unattended swimming pools and by calling 311.
• Call 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report mosquito problems.
Tires are easily filled with water by rain and collect leaf litter, providing an ideal breeding site for mosquito larvae. Eliminating scrap tire dumps will eliminate a prolific mosquito habitat.
• Residents can place up to four tires weekly, stacked curbside along with their household trash.
• Tires in front of abandoned lots will not be collected; they must be moved in front of a residence with curbside collection.
• Residents can also bring up to four tires to the City’s Recycling Drop-off Center on the second Saturday of each month, which is located at 2829 Elysian Fields Avenue between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
For more information on household item recycling