While the recent rain may have helped bring the warm temperatures down, it also created small pools of standing water in backyards, turning them into mosquito breeding sources and possible public health threats to the community. In honor of the National Mosquito Control Awareness Week (June 23 – 29, 2019), the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District (OCMVCD) is launching the “#MissionTipNToss” campaign, urging residents to join the mission of tipping out water and tossing out unneeded containers to protect the community from the dangers of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses.
“The #MissionTipNToss campaign provides opportunities for vector control staff to interact and engage with the community while sharing the message of mosquito prevention,” said Mary-Joy Coburn, Public Information Officer for OCMVCD. “Mosquito and vector control is a shared responsibility. This is an opportunity for the residents to show us what they are doing to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
To kick off National Mosquito Control Awareness Week and the summer season:
The District is launching the #MissionTipNToss video challenge, urging residents to show how they tip out water and toss out unneeded containers from their home or workplace to help reduce mosquito production. The residents are also encouraged to nominate friends to do the same, all to raise awareness about mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
The Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District challenges the following agencies in the #MissionTipNToss Challenge: City of Anaheim, City of Garden Grove, City of Orange, the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, and the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control. Show us how you tip out standing water and toss out unneeded containers at home or in the workplace. You have one week to complete the challenge!
Individual challenges for the #MissionTipNToss Challenge are also underway. Here is a compilation of some videos already filmed. Residents are encouraged to inspect their backyards, eliminate any potential mosquito breeding sources, and nominate their friends to do the same. Be sure to use #MissionTipNToss so we can find your video.
- The District is releasing a Public Service Announcement video about mosquito prevention in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese
- The District’s social media pages will be highlighting mosquito prevention tips and tricks and awarding prizes to engaged participants
- OCMVCD has partnered with local cities to post 50 bus shelters and billboards throughout the county this summer with the #MissionTipNToss message
- 25 OCTA buses will be displaying the message on their routes throughout the county
- 240 Interior bus cards in English and Spanish will be posted in OCTA buses
There are currently no confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Orange County, however two dead birds collected from the City of Tustin indicated traces of West Nile virus. So far in the state, six counties show West Nile virus activity in dead birds and mosquito samples; no human cases have been reported.
Orange County is also home to invasive Aedes mosquitoes, which can transmit Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. There have been no local outbreaks of these viruses in the county, however the presence of Aedesmosquitoes increases the risk. These mosquitoes are now established in 28 cities and unincorporated areas around the county.
Follow the tips below to prevent mosquito bites:
- Apply mosquito repellents to exposed skin before going outdoors; reapply as recommended
- Wear repellent containing DEET®, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
- Close all unscreened doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home or space, and repair broken or damaged screens
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and opt for lighter colored clothing
Around the home, eliminating breeding sources for mosquitoes is critical:
- Dump and drain containers filled with water at least once a week
- Clean and scrub bird baths and pet water bowls weekly
- Dump water from potted plant saucers
Orange County residents are urged to report unusual numbers of mosquitoes, or day-biting mosquitoes, to OCMVCD. For more information, please contact the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District at (714) 971-2421 or (949) 654-2421, or visit www.ocvector.org.