Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Mosquitoes with West Nile Virus Are Confirmed As Health Department Announces Free Tire Drop-off Program

Marion County Health Department officials have confirmed the first positive pool of mosquitoes, signaling the official beginning to mosquito season in Indianapolis.

"We would expect to see mosquitoes with West Nile Virus by now, so it isn't unusual. It does serve as a reminder that all of us have a role to play in limiting the places where mosquitoes can lay their eggs," said Chuck Dulla, administrator for the county mosquito control program.

One significant step towards limiting mosquito-breeding areas is to properly discard old tires.

Pomp's Tire will serve as sponsor for the 6th Annual Marion County Health Department's Tire Amnesty Day, set for Saturday, June 14.

Tire Amnesty Day encourages Marion County residents to drop off up to six passenger tires, off of the rim, to either the health department's mosquito control headquarters at 4001 East 21st Street or Pomp's Tire, located at 2120 South Harding Street. There will be no charge for the drop off. The drop off will last from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The partnership with Pomp's Tire gives the health department a second drop off site on June 14 and Pomp's will also help offset the processing costs for recycling the tires.

Last year, the Marion County Health Department collected more than 21,000 tires. Besides creating an eyesore, abandoned tires create what local health officials' call the ideal mosquito-breeding site.

"The dark color of the tire attracts and retains heat, holds enough water to hatch eggs and offers protection from predators and chemical treatments," said Dulla, "These mosquitoes are the ones linked to West Nile virus in humans," said Dulla.

In 2007, Marion County reported 4 cases of West Nile virus in humans.

For more information on the Marion County Health Department's Tire Amnesty Day, Sponsored by Pomp's Tire, please call (317) 221-7440.

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