ARCADIA (CNS) – Pesticides targeting aggressive Asian tiger mosquitoes were sprayed yesterday in parts of Arcadia, South El Monte and an unincorporated area north of El Monte.
The invasive species, distinctive for its black and white stripes, can transmit dengue and chikungunya viruses and encephalitis.
Chikungunya is a painful disease that has spread rapidly in the Caribbean and poses “a very real risk for introduction into the United States,” according to agencies responsible for mosquito abatement.
There is no vaccine or cure for dengue or chikungunya and both illnesses are typically debilitating, with high fever and severe joint and muscle pains lasting a week to several months.
Two agencies will use two different treatments in infested neighborhoods. The spraying was scheduled between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m.. Both pesticides target immature and adult mosquitoes.
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District will apply a mist of Zenivex using truck-mounted foggers. The active ingredient is etofenprox, a non-carcinogen classified by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as low risk to humans and the environment.
The San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District will use VectoBac WDG in a low-volume mist. The active ingredient, Bti, is a bio- rational larvicide with minimal risk to humans and wildlife, according to district authorities.
As a general precaution, officials asked residents in the immediate areas to stay inside, with the windows closed, and to cover outdoor fish ponds, pet food and water bowls during the application.
The agencies also offered tips on what residents can do to stop the spread of this aggressive, daytime-biting mosquito:
– immediately report any small, black and white mosquitoes or any mosquitoes that are biting during the day;
– dispose of containers, recyclables, cans, buckets, old tires and trash;
– remove water saucers from beneath potted plants and drill drain holes in all flower pots;
– do not store water in uncovered buckets or rain barrels and make sure barrels are completely sealed; and
– empty bird baths and small fountains completely or clean them thoroughly every three days.
Arcadia and El Monte residents may call the San Gabriel Valley MVCD at (626) 814-9466 to report sightings or for more information. South El Monte residents may call the Greater Los Angeles County VCD at (562) 944-9656.
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