OVMAP news release
Recent mosquito trap data indicate that recent aerial larviciding treatments were very successful, with mosquito populations reduced by about half in the two weeks following aerial management activities.
To illustrate the scope of what was conducted during aerial management Rob Miller, OVMAP Interim Manager, stated that “OVMAP applied roughly 10 times the
amount of material used in a year in just two days” via helicopter.
This larvicide works by introducing naturally-occurring bacteria into breeding habitat, stopping normal mosquito larval development and preventing these larvae from becoming biting adult mosquitoes.
Since the bacteria only target certain species of mosquito larvae, it is safe for use around animals, plants, and other insect species. Control should last from 30 to 60 days.
The Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program (OVMAP) supervised these larvicide releases by helicopter on August 31 and September 1 with the help of resources provided by the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).
These releases were in response to record numbers of adult mosquito populations within the Owens Valley, a record number of mosquito samples confirmed positive for presence of West Nile virus, and Inyo County recording its first ever confirmed human case of West Nile virus.
During normal runoff years, OVMAP tax assessment revenues are sufficient to provide
adequate mosquito control in the Owens Valley. This year, however, massive runoff and
spreading operations exceeded the small program’s ability to manage breeding sites.
According to Agricultural Commissioner Nate Reade, “this was the first aerial mosquito control effort in the Owens Valley since 1971”. “This was a huge and historic undertaking for OVMAP and I want to thank LADWP for providing the funds and San Joaquin Helicopters for their technical expertise, both of which were instrumental in making this project a success.”
With ongoing indications of West Nile virus carrying mosquitos in the Owens Valley, the public is encouraged to prevent mosquito bites by:
Using mosquito repellent. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or IR3535. Some oil of Lemon eucalyptus and Para-Menthane-Diol products provide similar protection.
Avoiding outdoor activities if possible during dawn and dusk. This is especially
important during the first two hours following sunset, when species that spread West Nile virus are actively biting.
Wearing long sleeves and pants. This provides additional protection when used in
conjunction with insect repellent To find more information on West Nile virus, visit
the Centers for Disease Control WNV page at https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html, or the California West Nile virus website at http://www.westnile.ca.gov/.
Please report mosquito problems to the Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program by calling: (760) 873-7853.