Confirmed case of West Nile virus in East Baton Rouge Parish


POSTED: Friday, July 16, 2010 - 4:44pm

UPDATED: Friday, July 16, 2010 - 4:44pm

East Baton Rouge Parish has the first confirmed case of West Nile Virus in Louisiana, but local experts say it's nothing to panic about.

Mosquito samples show the number of those insects carrying the disease is much lower than years past.

The East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control mission is to reduce populations of potential disease bearing pests. Here are some tips on how to help protect you and your family from West Nile.

Residential Mosquito Control

Are the chemicals dangerous to humans, pets and plants?

No, not when used properly. The chemicals we use are approved by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry for control of insect pests. The chemicals can be harmful to some fish species such as koi and goldfish. For more information you can contact our department’s biologists.

What precautions can I take to protect myself from West Nile Virus?

Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning and evening hours. Wear long sleeves and pants and use an insect repellent that has been registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends products with either DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or picaridin (KBR 3023) as the active ingredients. Products with oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane 3, 8-diol) have also been demonstrated to provide protection similar to low concentrations of DEET.

Can you treat my residence on a regular basis without receiving a request from me?

No. You need to call for each inspection and treatment so we can insure all the appropriate precautions are met and we have current information on the pest problem.

Why do I still have mosquito problems in the winter?

In Louisiana we have mosquito activity throughout the year. Some species are present primarily during the cooler months.

Do I have to be home for your department to spray my residence?

No. If you have taken the appropriate precautions such as removing your pets, closing the windows and turning off any window unit air-conditioners, we can inspect and treat your residence.

What type of chemicals does your department use for treating residences?

We use synthetic pyrethroid insecticides that are specifically formulated to control flying insect pests such as mosquitoes.

I have a large canal near my residence. Is this the source of my mosquito problems?

In most cases large canals and ditches are not sites for prolific mosquito breeding. The reason is that these bodies of water typically contain sufficient predator populations, particularly fish, that act to control mosquito breeding. Many mosquito problems around residences are due to mosquitoes breeding in standing water and containers around the home.

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