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What do Honey Bees and Mosquitos have in common?
Some insects are very dangerous to people and our domesticated animals. Mosquitos and honeybees, as well as ticks, fire ants and other insects can cause human diseases and injuries. Spring and summer rains and heat bring on the spread of these specific insects -- and each of us can make a differnce in keeping our communities safe for vulnerable children and seniors. But these are not the only people who benefit from prevention of vector problems because people of any age can be infected or injured by dangerous insects.
"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, other insects, ticks, mites, and rats, but not including any domesticated animal.
What can you do? EMPLY ALL STANDING WATER CONTAINERS! Do it weekly...do it daily. Make it a habit. Old tires, flower pots, aluminum cans, rocks with depressions in them, potholes in driveways, puddles that don't evaporate quickly...there are many ways that standing water becomes home for mosquitos. Yes, birds need water...but they are healthier if they have moving water, or fresh water that you replace daily.
Water patrol is something you can do when you are out playing, or taking hikes, or walking to school, or ... part of your community service project. It's an important job and somebody needs to do it...so maybe that important somebody can be you!
QUESTION: What do Honey Bees and Mosquitos have in common?
ANSWER: They are both "vector" insects.
You'll find some challenging trivia quizzes for your pesky friends, family and neighbors at the Los Angeles County West Vector Control District website. What a mouthful!
Citizen Scientist ResourcesWith the emergence of new diseases and vectors locally (Lyme disease, mosquito-borne encephalitis, & Africanized honeybees) and nationwide (Dengue hemorrhagic fever in Texas and the West Nile virus throughout the nation), surveillance work and control measures have taken top priority throughout the United States. Reducing and controlling the number of vectors, that are able to spread and amplify these diseases or inflict pain or injury, is the focus of vector-borne communicable disease programs.
EducationAn essential program of the District includes educating the public about the life cycle of the mosquitoes, ticks and bees, diseases carried by these vectors, property owners' responsibilities, and functions of the District.
The primary goal of the District is the control of mosquitoes by preventing them from breeding. Although this is more time consuming, more difficult to accomplish, and more costly over a short time span than other control methods, a preventative program will be more cost-effective to the District over the years.
PreventionAn essential program of the District includes educating the public about the life cycle of the mosquitoes, ticks and bees, diseases carried by these vectors, property owners' responsibilities,
ControlAlthough District staff attempt to eliminate breeding sources, the need for biological and chemical control of mosquitoes is necessary. The District has been divided into zones which are routinely inspected and treated.
SurveillanceBesides being nuisances, mosquitoes may transmit a number of communicable diseases. The diseases of most concern in the Los Angeles County West Vector Control District are St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) and Western Equine encephalomyelitis (WEE). Since there are no cures or vaccines available for humans, surveillance for the presence of virus and controlling mosquitoes are the best methods for reducing the potential for human disease.
The enormous cost of medical care and the loss of life where vector-borne diseases are prevalent represent significant economic loss. One study examined the economic burden imposed on residents of Massachusetts who had survived Eastern equine encephalitis infections. Transiently affected persons mainly required assistance of direct medical services; the average total cost per case was $21,000. Those who suffered persistent sequelae remained at home and seemed likely to live a normal life span, but without gainful employment. The cost associated with persistent sequelae, which included medical expenses, education, institutionalization, and loss of income, was approximately $3 million per case. Major losses may occur to recreational interests, tourist trade, real estate and land development, and to other associated local business, when an area gets a reputation for being infested with vectors.
The District includes the cities of Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Culver City, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lomita, the westerly portion of Los Angeles City, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, and unincorporated territory of the County of Los Angeles.
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