District Begins Mosquito Control Program

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The West Umatilla Mosquito Control District has begun implementing its 2015 mosquito control program.

Between the months of April and October, the district will target areas of standing and stagnate water where mosquito larvae thrive. Large water bodies will be sprayed with a helicopter while smaller areas will be treated by truck mounted sprayers or by hand.

To control adult mosquitoes, the district plans to make treatments using truck mounted ultra-low volume foggers. This spraying will be done after sunset in areas of the district that have large populations of adult mosquitoes. In rural areas, the district will begin aerial spraying to control adult mosquitoes when mosquito trap collections indicate the need for large scale spraying. Aerial spraying for adult mosquitoes will be done in the early evening hours just after sunset.

The district serves a 525 square mile area in Western Umatilla County, including the towns of Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

About 45 species of mosquitoes are found in Oregon. Within the district boundaries, 12 of these species are commonly found in a variety of habitats. The common house mosquito (Culex pipiens), along with the Culex tarsalis, species very common in the district, have been targeted as the possible vectors of West Nile virus.

The West Umatilla Mosquito Control District encourages homeowners to take actions to eliminate mosquito breeding around their homes and properties. People are encouraged to:

• Empty or get rid of cans, buckets, bottles, old tires, empty pots, plant saucers and other containers that hold water.
• Keep gutters clear of debris and standing water. Remove standing water around structures and from flat roofs.
• Change water in pet dishes, wading pools and birdbaths several times a week.
• Fill in low areas in the yard and holes in trees that catch water.
• Maintain your backyard pool or hot tub and be sure someone takes care of it if you are on vacation.
• Stock ornamental ponds with fish that eat mosquitoes.
• Cover trash containers so they will not collect water.
• Water lawns and gardens carefully so water does not stand for several days or run into the street filling up catch basins.
• Repair any leaking plumbing and outside faucets.
• Screen rain barrels and opening to water tanks or cisterns.
• Keep drains and ditches clear of weeds and trash so water will not collect.
• To help keep mosquitoes out of the house, be sure door, porch and window screens are in good condition.
• Call the mosquito control hotline if you are experiencing a mosquito problem.

If for any reason you do not wish to have your property sprayed, please call the mosquito control hotline at 567-5201 and asked to be placed on the no-spray list. This number is also available for any questions regarding the districts mosquito control program. You can also visit the district’s web page.