Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391
Heavy June rainfall led to a substantial increase in the number of complaint calls to the Marion County Health Department's mosquito control program. In June, 1,640 complaints were received, the most in more than a decade and nearly 500 more than were registered in 2008.
Even with the high rate of complaint calls in June, the nine full-time staff and 26 seasonal staff members were able to respond to a majority of complaint calls within 24 hours.
Hundreds of swamp-like areas, perfect for breeding mosquitoes, were created throughout the county due to the heavy rainfall.
Marion County received an average of 6.43 inches of rain in June, with at least one portion of the county reporting 8.16 inches of rain. Mosquito control reported that the pesky insects were breeding three to five times faster than normal due to a combination of rain and warm temperatures.
Those calling mosquito control at 221-7440 will be asked the address or area where mosquito activity has been encountered. That information will be placed into a database and environmental health specialists will visit the area, looking for any potential breeding sites and provide appropriate interventions. The affected area is also placed on the nighttime fogging schedule. Individuals with respiratory illness or those who want to be notified prior to nighttime fogging in their area can call the mosquito control program and be placed on a notification list. The health department will then alert them via phone call prior to any fogging taking place in their neighborhood. All services are provided at no charge.
The community can assist in the mosquito control effort by taking a five minute walk around their property, work area, church or other area where there is outside activity looking for any type of container or other object capable of holding water. This can include ornamental ponds, small recreational pools, clogged gutters and old tires. These items should be regularly cleaned, covered or placed indoors. The health department has found mosquito larvae developing in discarded Styrofoam coffee cups with just two tablespoons of water inside.