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St. Charles County works to reduce mosquitoes and diseases they spread

"With the help of our residents, we can decrease the likelihood of these disease-carrying pests in our community"
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ST. LOUIS — St. Charles County residents and the Division of Environmental Health can work together to help reduce mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.

The division’s Mosquito Control Program plans to monitor problem areas, test for insects, apply specific treatments when needed and educate the public on how to protect themselves and others.

“When residents take steps to protect themselves from insect bites and eliminate breeding grounds from their homes, our program is more focused and effective,” said Caroline McEwen, manager of the Mosquito Control Program. “With the help of our residents, we can decrease the likelihood of these disease-carrying pests in our community.”

The program uses various techniques to reduce mosquitoes, including:

  • Treating unknown breeding areas with larvicide to minimize the development of adult insects
  • Target spraying in areas where nuisance populations have developed
  • Setting traps around the county to test for the presence of different species and diseases they might carry

Various species behave differently and are active at different times of the day, so knowing the type of mosquitos in a community will help staff apply more effective treatment, according to the health department.

Here is how residents can assist in mosquito control:

  • Use insect repellent when outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus are proven to provide protection when used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. When using sunscreen, apply it first, let dry, and then apply repellent.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when in a traditional mosquito habitat, like wooded areas or tall grass.
  • Drain areas around the home that may hold water for longer than five days.
  • Check screens for damage to block entry into the home.
  • Dispose of old tires or other debris from yards.

The health department said there is no evidence that mosquitos can spread COVID-19. But they do spread other diseases to humans and pets.

The department said the two most common are the West Nile Virus, that can be transmitted to humans, and Heartworms, that can be spread to dogs and cats.

Environmental Health contracts with several St. Charles County cities to control mosquito populations, according to a press release.

Residents who live in unincorporated St. Charles County or within the city limits of Augusta, Cottleville, Dardenne Prairie, Flint Hill, Lake Saint Louis, Portage des Sioux, St. Paul, Weldon Spring, Weldon Spring Heights and Wentzville, should click here to request treatment.

Residents can also call 636-949-1800 to add their location to a “no spray” list.

RELATED: No, mosquitoes can't spread COVID-19, but they could still be extra pesky this summer in St. Louis

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