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Health department, residents work together to ‘Block the Bite’ in St. Charles County

Mosquito biting

Mosquitoes can be both a nuisance and a health concern, as their bites may spread diseases to people and their pets. Working together, St. Charles County residents and the Division of Environmental Health and Protection’s Mosquito Control program staff can reduce the risk of exposure to disease-carrying mosquitoes.

“St. Charles County’s Mosquito Control program is most successful when residents participate in tandem with our efforts,“ says Seth Otto V, Mosquito Control Program Coordinator. “It takes a joint commitment to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses. If residents do their part to protect themselves and our community by using insect repellent when outdoors and eliminating breeding grounds around homes, our program can be more focused and effective in controlling the population of disease-carrying pests.”

St. Charles County’s Mosquito Control Program

The Mosquito Control staff utilizes a process called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to create the most effective and efficient control of mosquito populations around St. Charles County. Using IPM, staff monitors for larval and adult insect activity, sets traps to test for the presence of different species and the diseases they may carry, applies specific treatment where needed and educates on the most effective methods for protecting the public. When applying treatment, the priority is placed on targeting larvae to prevent their development into adults — as this method has been determined to be the most effective, most environmentally friendly and most cost-effective. The Mosquito Control staff also performs targeted spraying in areas where a high population of disease-carrying or nuisance mosquitoes is observed.

The Division of Environmental Health and Protection contracts with several St. Charles County municipalities to control mosquito populations. Residents who live in unincorporated St. Charles County or within the city limits of Augusta, Cottleville, Flint Hill, Lake Saint Louis, Portage des Sioux, St. Paul, Weldon Spring, Weldon Spring Heights and Wentzville should use the CitizenServe online portal at sccmo.org/mosquito to notify staff of potential mosquito breeding grounds or to request treatment. Those who wish to add their address to a “No Spray” list can call 636-949-1800. Residents living within the city limits of Dardenne Prairie, O’Fallon, St. Charles and St. Peters should contact their respective city halls for treatment concerns.

Suggested Precautions for St. Charles County Residents

In addition to efforts by the Mosquito Control program, residents are asked to take actions to minimize exposure and protect themselves and their families. To help “Block the Bite,” program staff recommends that individuals:

  • Use insect repellent when outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus are proven to provide protection when used according to manufacturer’s recommendations. When also using sunscreen, apply the sunscreen first, let it dry, and then apply repellent.
  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when in traditional mosquito habitat such as wooded areas or tall grass.
  • Drain areas around the home that may hold water for five days or longer. Common sites include clogged gutters, pool covers, potted plant, bird baths and tire swings.
  • Check screens for damage to prevent entry into the home.
  • Dispose of old tires or other debris from the yard.

Suggestions to Protect Pets
Pet owners must also do their part to protect their animals from mosquito-borne illness:

  • Consult with a veterinarian about beginning a heartworm control program.
  • Purchase insect control products specifically designed for animals and follow manufacturer’s recommendations for application. Never put human insect repellent on animals.
  • Contact your veterinarian if the animal displays uncommon behaviors after possible exposure to insects, such as stiffness or joint pain, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea, fever or unexplained fatigue.

For more information about mosquito behavior, control and prevention tips, and disease risks, visit sccmo.org/AboutMosquitoes.

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