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City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County Observe National Mosquito Control Awareness Week

Albuquerque, NM – Public health officials with the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are reminding the community that June 23-29, 2014 is National Mosquito Control Awareness week. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness on the importance of mosquito control at both the municipality level and at the household level. The City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department and Bernalillo County Office of Health and Social Services operate a joint program that conducts weekly mosquito surveillance and implements larval and adult mosquito control as needed.

“We encourage citizens to report large numbers of adult mosquitoes or mosquito breeding habitat by calling 311,” says Dr. Mark DiMenna, Deputy Director for the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department. “Reports from citizens help the program identify problem areas and locate potential mosquito sources.”

Citizens should also implement proactive measures around their homes to reduce mosquito problems. “Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but they can also pose a threat to health because of diseases they transmit to people and pets. We really want to encourage the public to learn what actions they can take to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” says Dr. Paul Smith, manager for the City of Albuquerque Urban Biology Division.

The following is a list of simple things citizens can do to reduce mosquito breeding and minimize risk of mosquito-borne illness:

Ensure that windows and doors are kept closed, and that screening is intact. Be sure to fix any holes that might allow mosquitoes to enter the home.
When outdoors, use insect repellant that is shown to be effective; apply to clothing and exposed skin according to the directions on the label. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend products containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 on skin and permethrin on clothing.
Wear loose-fitting clothing that protects the skin when mosquitoes are present. This includes long sleeves, long pants and socks.
Limit outdoor activity during peak times of mosquito activity, mainly around dusk and dawn.
When possible, eliminate standing water around the home that can serve as breeding habitat for mosquitoes. Drain containers that hold water and turn them upside down. Ensure that backyard pools are well maintained. Change out water in pet bowls and birdbaths regularly.

For additional information about mosquitoes and how to protect yourself, please call 311 or visit:

http://www.cabq.gov/environmentalhealth/urban-biology