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Mosquito and Vector Control FAQs

1.  What is a vector?

San Bernardino County Code states, "'Vector' means any animal capable of transmitting the causative agent of human disease or capable of producing human discomfort or injury, including, but not limited to, mosquitoes, flies, fleas, ticks, mites, and rats, but not including any domesticated animal." View What is a Vector?

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2.  Why is there a Vector Control benefit assessment on my tax bill?

The annual assessment pays for vector control services provided in your community. These services include surveillance for diseases and control of insects and animals that can cause human illness.

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3.  What is West Nile virus?

West Nile virus is a virus commonly found in Africa, West Asia and the Middle East. It is closely related to the virus that causes St. Louis encephalitis. West Nile virus can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and some other mammals.

For more information visit WestNile.ca.gov or Centers for Disease Control West Nile Virus. View California Surveillance and Facts About West Nile Virus.

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4.  How do people get West Nile virus?

West Nile virus is typically spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. View California Surveillance and Facts About West Nile Virus.

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5.  What are the symptoms of West Nile virus?

Most people who are bitten by a mosquito with West Nile virus will not get sick. Some individuals will experience headache, high fever and neck stiffness. In less than 1 percent of individuals, symptoms can be more severe, including coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. View California Surveillance and Facts About West Nile Virus.

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6.  What can I do to protect myself from West Nile virus?

Avoid activity outside when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dawn and dusk. When outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeve shirts and other protective clothing.

Apply insect repellant according to label instructions.

Make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

Eliminate all sources of standing water that can support mosquito breeding. View California Surveillance and Facts About West Nile Virus.

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7.  Which mosquito repellent works best?

The most effective repellents use DEET. Products containing DEET are safe when used according to label directions. These products have been approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency after undergoing rigorous testing. View California Surveillance and Facts About West Nile Virus.

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8.  Does San Bernardino County Vector Control Program have an action plan when West Nile Virus reaches San Bernardino County?

In the event that San Bernardino County or the California Department of Health Services declares emergency conditions, SBCVCP will take emergency control measures to prevent the spread of West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne diseases. View 2003 Comprehensive West Nile Virus Surveillance and Control Plan.

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9.  What can I do to avoid a mosquito infestation on my property?

There are many different types of mosquitoes in San Bernardino County and each of them needs standing water to complete its life cycle. You can protect yourself from mosquito bites and the diseases these insects carry (encephalitis and malaria) by eliminating water sources on your property. Keep roof gutters and drainage ditches clean, change bird baths and animal troughs every week, store boats upside down or cover them tightly, and store tires in a covered area. Also, if you have ornamental ponds and decorative pools, contact our office to find out where mosquito fish can be purchased in San Bernardino County. Call (909) 388-4600 for more information. View What is a Vector?

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10.  How can I discourage rats from nesting on my property?

In San Bernardino County, the roof rat is the species which lives in our residential areas, mostly under piles of wood and debris, in garages, attics, and storage areas. Keep wood piles, lumber and household items neatly stacked at least 18 inches above the ground and away from walls and fences. Clean up and haul away junk and debris and trim trees, bushes, and vines at least four feet away from your roof. Pet food, fruit trees, open trash cans and vegetable gardens initially attract rats; then they find shelter. View What is a Vector?

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