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Mosquitofish take bite out of Nile Virus threat

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POSTED June 28, 2017 12:43 a.m.

San Joaquin County in 2016 — even with the drought having a solid grip on the region — racked up 13 human cases of mosquito borne Nile Virus as well as 37 dead birds and 350 mosquito samples.
The latest bird to die from the Nile Virus was found in the Ripon area earlier this month.
The Nile Virus can make humans sick and even kill them. There were 19 human deaths statewide from the Nile Virus in 2016.
So far this year with significantly more rainfall, there have been no human cases, one dead bird, and 34 mosquito samples in San Joaquin County. That is expected to change in the coming months as the snowmelt eases up and river flows get back to normal.
It is why the San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District is urging residents to take advantage of the free mosquitofish distribution they are conducting today and Thursday in the South County.
Ripon, today from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Ripon City Hall parking lot, 259 N. Wilma St.
Escalon, today from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Hogan park parking lot at 1051 Escalon Ave.
Manteca, Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane.
Lathrop, Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. at Manuel Valverde Park near the Lathrop Community Center, 15557 Fifth St.
deal places to use mosquitofish to prevent mosquito development are ornamental ponds, animal water troughs, and neglected swimming pools.
A maximum of 15 fish will be provided to each resident as long as supplies last. Residents will be asked to provide their name, address and location where fish will be placed. Mosquitofish will only be provided to residents who live within San Joaquin County.
They are a live-bearing minnow closely related to the common guppy. Mosquitofish are temperature dependent for reproduction, but typically breed from mid-spring to fall in the San Joaquin Valley. They reproduce at intervals of about six weeks, with on average about 50 young in a single brood. Mosquitofish are the primary biological control agent for the San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District.
The District urges residents and visitors of San Joaquin County including the Ripon and south San Joaquin County area to reduce their risk of WNV infection and other mosquito-transmitted diseases by taking these precautions:
Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property that can support mosquito breeding.
Use products containing active ingredients which have been registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use as insect repellents applied to skin and clothing. Those products containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus products need to be applied according to label instructions.
Avoid spending time outside when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and dusk, and especially for the first two hours after sunset.
When outdoors, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and other protective clothing.
Exclude mosquitoes from your home with tight fitting screens on doors and windows.
Contact your veterinarian for information on vaccinating equine against WNV.
Report significant mosquito infestations to San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District at www.sjmosquito.org (209) 982-4675, 1-800-300-4675.
Report dead birds and tree squirrels to 1-877-WNV-BIRD (1-877-968-2473) or www.westnile.ca.gov.
For additional information, request service, and/or to sign up for the District’s spray notification system, go to www.sjmosquito.org.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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