Neglected swimming pools produce mosquitoes putting you and your family at high risk for West Nile virus!
Did you know?
A small bucket of stagnant water can literally produce 1,000 mosquitoes per week.
Mosquito season has arrived early this year partly due to drought conditions, which have led to more areas of stagnant water in the state’s rivers and lakes.
The warm weather, combined with pools of standing water, creates the “perfect” habitat for mosquitoes to thrive — whereas healthy rivers and lakes with flowing water create poor conditions for the insects, according to the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California.
Man-made water sources such as neglected swimming pools, flowerpots and storm drains also provide ideal mosquito breeding grounds.
“Just because you have a drought year doesn’t mean you won’t have mosquitoes,” said Wes Maffei, manager of Napa County’s Mosquito Abatement District.
The Abatement District, which offers pest management to control the mosquitoes, has been receiving a higher volume of calls than normal for this time of year.
Napa County was very dry and warm until March, and then the rains happened all at once and this led to large areas of standing water, and the mosquitoes took advantage of it.
The danger associated with mosquitoes is that they can transmit West Nile Virus through their bites.
In 2013, West Nile Virus contributed to 14 human deaths in California and more than 370 people in 31 counties tested positive for the virus, according to the Mosquito and Vector Control Association. More than 240 people developed neuroinvasive disease.
Last year in Napa County, a 65-year-old man tested positive for West Nile. He was admitted to the hospital after developing West Nile meningitis. He fully recovered and returned home.
West Nile Virus is primarily a summer disease, with most human infections occurring between July and October in Northern California.
The State Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention anticipate West Nile virus will pose a similar public health threat this year.
Most people who get West Nile Virus have no symptoms. Those who do get sick may develop symptoms three to 14 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito, according to the state health department.
About 1 in 5 people infected with the virus will develop a fever, and may experience headache, nausea, vomiting and sometimes a skin rash. About 1 in 150 cases will involve the brain, which can lead to disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness or other neurological symptoms. In rare cases it can result in death.
People over the age of 50, as well as those with diabetes and hypertension, are at the greatest risk of developing a severe illness, according to the state health department.
There is no specific treatment for West Nile Virus, nor is there a vaccine.
Napa County Public Health recommends that individuals prevent exposure to mosquito bites and West Nile virus by practicing the “Three Ds”:
— DEET: Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535, according to label instructions. Repellents keep the mosquitoes from biting. DEET can be used safely on children 2 months of age and older.
— Dawn and dusk: Mosquitoes bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear proper clothing and repellent if outside during these times. Make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
— Drain: Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls.
To report a swimming pool that is not being properly maintained or for other mosquito problems, contact the Napa County Mosquito Abatement District at 707-553-9610.
In Solano County, officials encourage the public to take precautionary measures such as wearing mosquito repellent. Be proactive. Anyone who spots abandoned pools may report them at 707-437-1116 or 877-968-2473 or go to WestNile.Ca.gov.
Other Safety Concerns with Neglected Swimming Pools..
According to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, drowning is the second-leading cause of death for American children aged 1-4, and the top killer in that age group in the southern United States. Drowning can occur in a manner of seconds, so time is of the essence when a child goes underwater and does not come back up. Algae of every form causes clouding and discoloration of pool water, making it difficult to see with or without the aid of goggles. Regardless of pool size, removing the barriers for successful rescue is critical.
Promotes Harmful Bacteria Growth
Algae is a plant form, which survives through photosynthesis–the process of absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. University of California researchers write that aerobic bacteria “thrive in the presence of oxygen” and use it to grow and sustain life. One of those bacteria is E.coli, or Escherichia coli. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention writes that fecal-borne bacteria is the most common cause of pool-related illness. The microscopic organisms wash off the body and into the water without notice. The bacteria feed from the excess oxygen and spread throughout the pool. The CDC reports, “A single diarrheal incident from one person could contaminate water throughout a large pool system or waterpark.”
Here’s a couple pictures of a neglected swimming pool that NBWS recently cleaned up in Lafayette, CA. This was a foreclosed property and the pool was disgusting!!
BENICIA, VALLEJO, FAIRFIELD, VACAVILLE, DIXON, HERCULES, RODEO, PINOLE, CROCKET, NAPA & ST. HELENA
6180 Egret Court, Suite A., Benicia, C A 94510
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