Mosquito season is in full force! In addition to the seasonal threat of parasitic ticks that may carry serious diseases, mosquitos and other flying pests are a growing threat as summer approaches its peak. Mosquitos carry numerous diseases infectious to both animals and humans, including Encephalitis, Malaria, and West Nile Virus.
Protect yourself and your pets! Monthly preventative tablets are available at our office for both cats and dogs. Make sure you wear protective clothing whenever outside – long sleeves and pants – most especially at dawn and dusk when bugs are most active. Repellant sprays are available for purchase from local markets and special items may be found online. When purchasing repellant sprays or lotions, carefully read the label and make sure it contains DEET or PICARIDIN. According to the CDC and EPA, these are the two most effective ingredients. Oil of lemon eucalyptus (a plant-based repellant) is also registered with the EPA.
Higher concentrations do not mean a more powerful product. it just means the product lasts longer between applications. To reduce the risk of adverse effects, use the lowest concentration you can for your outdoor situation.
Not all over the counter repellants are safe for both pets and humans! Specialty livestock flysprays or ointments may also be harmful to your domestic companion. Products formulated for dogs are not necessarily safe or effective on cats. Our office will assist you in every way possible for determining the safety of any product, or provide an alternative suggestion for an equally effective product. Call (661) 248-7387 during business hours.
Evening interludes around the Bar-B-Que may be made more comfortable by the strategic arrangement of a few citronella candles or other patio sentinels such as insect traps or a bug zapper. Well-maintained screens on windows and doors prevent the pests from entering your home.
Make sure there’s no standing/stagnant water around your home or property. This includes potted plant bases, birdbaths, outside pet dishes or watering troughs, ponds, puddles, trashcans, covered boats, and the like. Stagnant water is prime breeding habitat for mosquitos. Fill in depressions that catch puddles, change your pet’s outside water dish daily, exchange bowls for faucet attachments, and generally maintain your property to assure no pools form.
If you care for livestock as well as domestic companions, Kern County Mosquito and Vector Control District provides advice on obtaining fish that prey on larvae in watering troughs or ponds.
They may be contacted by telephone at (661) 589-2744.
Greater Los Angeles County Mosquito and Vector Control District: (310) 915-7370
If you find a dead bird, immediately contact the California Department of Health Services to identify and report the dead bird. You will be contacted within 24 hours if the bird will be picked up for West Nile Virus testing. If you are not, then the bird may safely be placed in a plastic bag and disposed of in your trash. Do not handle the body with your hands, and do not freeze it. The number for CDHS is (877) 968-2473 (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm, leave messages after hours).
For more information, please visit:
- California West Nile Virus Information: http://westnile.ca.gov/home.htm
- Ventura County Vector Control: http://www.ventura.org/envhealth/programs/vector_control