By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
Once again La Habra and La Habra Heights residents have to be aware of West Nile Virus from mosquitoes.
This year, La Habra has had eight mosquito samples that have tested positive for West Nile Virus, which makes it the most in Orange County according to Jared Dever from the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control.
The positive tests came from areas centered around La Bonita and Orsonio Parks. Orsonio Park is on the border of La Habra and La Habra Heights. OC Vector Control personnel have been focused on these areas. They have been working with the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District, which covers Whittier and La Habra Heights, but have been taking the lead on addressing these cases in La Habra.
Dever explained that the organization has dedicated additional inspectors, laboratory staff, and community outreach staff to the areas with the highest concentrations of the virus.
Vector Control has used aerial surveillance to determine areas that could be potential breeding grounds. Stagnant or standing water, “green” pools, and still water in flood channels have been identified and residents have been notified. OCMVCD also worked with the city to identify public areas that could be breeding grounds.
Based on the great health risk, OCMVCD will be treating the neighborhoods and areas around the two parks.
“The last thing we want is for somebody to become sick,” said Jim Gomez, mayor of La Habra.
There have been cases of La Habra residents that have contracted the virus in the past. There were eight fatalities attributed to West Nile Virus in the county last year.
Treatment of homes, front and back yards, will occur over two consecutive nights, Wednesday July 20 and Thursday July 21 from 6 – 9 p.m. OCMVCD personnel will use a backpack fogger and spend about five to eight minutes on each home.
Backpack foggers will also be used to treat Osornio Park and a portion of La Mirada Creek. A truck-mounted fogger will be used at La Bonita Park.
The 55 homes that will be treated near Orsornio Park are located along the county border near the intersection of Hacienda Road and Russell Street.
Osornio Park and portions of La Mirada Creek will be fogged with backpacks. The 102 homes near La Bonita Park that have been identified are located south of Whittier Boulevard near Idaho Street.
According to Dever, the mosquito adulticide product the OCMVCD will be using is Aqua Duet a water-based pesticide. According to the OCMVCD, the Pesticides targeting adult mosquitoes are applied in small aerosolized droplets, which degrade quickly in the environment.
The application rate and concentration is such that a product should pose no significant risk to humans, pets or plants.
According to the OCMVCD notices, the District uses public health pesticides approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Pesticide Regulation for use on and over outdoor residential and recreation areas.
However, Dever said that the OCMVCD staff cannot do it alone. “We need the assistance of every La Habra resident to help suppress mosquito breeding and prevent the transmission of West Nile virus,” Dever said.
Residents are encouraged to dump or drain stagnant water and ensure window and door screens are in good repair on their property.
“These two simple steps will ensure mosquitoes are not breeding on their property, and keep adult mosquitoes from getting inside their homes,” Dever said.
To help deter bites, Dever suggested that residents should apply mosquito repellent and weari loose and light-colored long sleeves and pants when out at dusk and in the evening.
FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO THE OCMVCD WEBSITES: