Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Marion County Health Department 2008 Mosquito Season Fact Sheet

The goal of the Marion County Health Department mosquito control program is to lower the risk of local residents coming into contact with mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus. This is accomplished through monitoring and testing the local mosquito population, eliminating potential breeding sites and providing other control measures during the day and the evening.

  • Mosquito season in Marion County generally begins in mid-April and continues through the second hard frost of the year, usually in mid to late October.
  • The Marion County Health Department has already found mosquitoes that have tested positive for the West Nile virus.
  • Precipitation and heat have major influence on mosquito population and larvae development.
  • July, August and September are when mosquito complaints are highest.
  • Only the female bites; she draws blood to use as a protein source for her eggs.
  • Dusk is when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long sleeves / longer pants if you can; use a repellent with DEET.
  • In 2007, Marion County registered one West Nile virus fatality and two confirmed cases in humans. Nationwide, 149 deaths were attributed to West Nile virus.
  • Marion County recorded one West Nile virus-related death in 2006 and 3 deaths in 2002.
  • Marion County Health Department will test an average of 8,000 mosquitoes per year.
  • The health department will check 16,900 sites throughout the county each year.
  • The health department will check another 9,2634 catch basins annually.
  • The health department provides mosquito fish, at no charge, that are capable of eating 100-200 mosquito larvae each day. Local residents who maintain ornamental ponds often use mosquito fish.
  • Take a 5 minute walk around your home.
  • Check for any container that can hold water.
  • Even a small Styrofoam coffee cup with a few teaspoons of water can be a mosquito-breeding site.
  • Clean, cover or place indoors any containers that can trap and hold water.
  • Old tires, clogged gutters and anything else that can trap and hold water can be a mosquito-breeding site.
  • Mosquitoes don't travel too far, so, a five-minute walk is quite helpful.
  • How about other animals, such as my dog?

Mosquitoes not only feast on human blood but target other mammals, as well as birds and amphibians. Generally, mosquitoes do not harm animals. However, some species of mosquitoes may play a role in transmitting heartworm in dogs. During times of high infestation, keep pets inside the house, a screened-in kennel or porch area. Avoid walking your pet during prime mosquito "feeding time". Check with a veterinarian for preventive measures for dog heartworm.

For more information about services offered by mosquito control, call the Marion County Health Department at 221-7440.

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