Mosquito Control Awareness Week

With the majority of the week under flood conditions across the Historic City News area, we are beginning to see the side effects as sinkholes in St Augustine and Palatka are beginning to appear; but as temperatures rise, so do threats from disease infected mosquitoes.

The Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St Johns County is taking this opportunity to educate residents about the ways they exercise control of these annoying buggers during National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, June 24 – 30, 2012.

Even though mosquitoes are easier to catch and swat then a regular housefly, most human efforts to eradicate the nuisance insects have been unsuccessful; their greatest predator remains the peaceful dragonfly.

We now know that the best prevention from mosquito-borne disease is to avoid infested areas, wear protective clothing and use repellent. We’ve come a long way from the days when we were kids; running behind thermal fogging trucks as they dispensed a cloud of DDT; laughing and screaming with delight. How stupid was that!?

Modern control techniques employed by the Anastasia Mosquito Control District are based on environmentally friendly methods that have minimal impact on people and other living things. Beyond that, the District maintains a “no-spray list” for residents who still prefer not to be sprayed with the currently used, ultra-low volume chemical. If you would like to be added to the “no-spray list”, you may call (904) 471-3107.

St Johns County has approximately 58 square miles of salt marsh; some of the most productive salt marsh for mosquito development. Although Salt marsh mosquitoes do not transmit human diseases, they can transmit heartworm to dogs.

Mosquito bites can cause severe skin irritation for some people through an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva. Using a brush to scratch the area surrounding the bite (but not the bite itself) and running hot water (around 49 °C or 120 °F) over it can alleviate itching for several hours by reducing histamine-induced skin blood flow.

Face facts, mosquitoes are just nasty, nasty critters and their bad habit of sucking on your blood can cause the transmission of some deadly diseases. West Nile Virus seems to be the latest threat in recent years. West Nile Virus is typically not a deadly disease but it can cause serious complications. Other mosquito-borne disease such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever are rare occurrences in North America; but it never hurts to be aware, especially traveling to other locations with a greater risk.

Visit the Anastasia Mosquito Control District of St Johns County website for more information about the potentially life-saving service they provide to our community.

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