Zika virus has been in the news often recently, and District staff members have received many questions from the family, friends, members of the public, and the media. Here are a few of the most common questions, and their answers:
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne virus that originated in Africa. It first appeared in the United States in 1999 and it moved West until it reached California in 2003. It is present throughout the year, although illness is often associated with peaks during hot summer months.
How can I identify your vector control technicians?
Our vector control technicians wear a uniform with the District name clearly visible on the shoulder patches, and upon request can show their District badge and ID. Laboratory staff may work out of uniform when conducting disease surveillance activities, but will have a District badge and ID.
To get to know the technician(s) and other staff who work in your area, visit our staff profile pages.
If West Nile virus is detected in the community, the District’s initial response will be to intensify its efforts to locate and reduce mosquito breeding sites, increase its levels of larviciding in those areas in which West Nile virus has been found, and increase trapping of adult mosquitoes for disease testing. Reducing the adult mosquito population with pesticides (adulticides) registered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be done if necessary to prevent human illness or to suppress a heavy nuisance infestation of mosquitoes.
When outdoors in areas where there may be ticks, wear long pants and sleeves. Don’t wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, or sandals. Tuck pants into socks or boots, and shirts into pants. Light-colored clothing makes it easier to see ticks before they attach to the skin.
The insect repellents that work for mosquitoes are effective against ticks. Look for formulas containing DEET. These should be applied according to the label instructions only.
What’s the difference between yellow jackets and bees?
Yellow jackets feed on other insects as well as nectar, while bees feed only on nectar. Bees can only sting once while yellowjackets can sting multiple times. Yellowjackets have black and yellow stripes and shiny bodies while bees are fuzzy and brownish. Bees typically build hives in hollow trees high above the ground. Their hives contain wax combs. Yellowjackets build round paper nests either under the ground or hanging from tree branches. Bees produce honey and feed on nectar and pollen from flowers.