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Summer is here and so is mosquito season. With the launch of its new Fight the Bite campaign, Maricopa County is providing information about steps people can take to reduce mosquito populations and protect themselves from mosquito bites at www.FightTheBiteMaricopa.org.
Mosquito bites are more than an irritation – they can cause serious illnesses that sometimes turn fatal. West Nile virus is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through mosquito bites. While many people may not have symptoms, others can become very ill and even die from the virus. In 2021, a new Maricopa County record was set for cases in a single year with nearly 1,500 cases identified. That’s more than four times as many as the previous record, which was just over 350 cases in 2004.
The new web site recommends Four Rs to Fight the Bite:
1.REPEL mosquitos using EPA-registered insect repellent that contains one of the following ingredients:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) (age 3+ only)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD) (age 3+ only)
2. REMOVE standing water from your home and yard. Mosquitoes require water to breed so be sure to tip and toss even small amounts of water from places such as flowerpots, bird baths, leaky hoses, or pipes.
3. REPAIR or replace damaged window and door screens to keep the pests outside.
4. REMIND your family, friends, and neighbors about mosquito safety, especially when mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn.
The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department conducts year-round surveillance and abatement of mosquitoes, deploying more than 800 routine mosquito traps every week and testing for diseases. The Fight the Bite web site links to a map that details trap locations and dates of treatment.
The site also provides information from Maricopa County Public Health on health concerns from mosquitoes, including West Nile virus and other diseases. The site also includes a handy backyard checklist to help residents do their part in fighting mosquitoes.
For information about how to take action or to report a mosquito-related complaint, you may call (602) 506-0700 or visit www.FightTheBiteMaricopa.org.