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Health officials call for teamwork in controlling mosquitoes

Spring rain and the increase in daily temperatures create perfect conditions for the return of mosquitoes. Curtailing these nuisance pests is a team effort, calling upon cooperation from St. Charles County residents and staff from the Division of Environmental Health and Protection.

“During Mosquito Control Awareness Week, we remind residents of the joint efforts required to abate mosquitoes and prevent the spread of disease,” Division Director Ryan Tilley said. “When residents take steps to eliminate breeding areas in their backyards and protect themselves by wearing repellent when outdoors, our staff can focus on larger habitat areas to mitigate problems.”

The division contracts with several municipalities to minimize mosquito populations in their community. Residents living 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, who are concerned about mosquitoes, should visit www.sccmo.org/mosquito to use the online portal to register and request assistance. Those without internet access can call (636) 949-1800 for service. Residents living within the city limits of O’Fallon, St. Charles and St. Peters should contact their respective city halls.

While the division will use various techniques to reduce mosquito populations, individuals also must take personal responsibility. The most effective way to block insect bites when outdoors is to use repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR 3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Eliminate potential breeding grounds around the home by draining areas where water settles, cleaning clogged gutters, removing trash and debris that could contain water, and disrupting fountains, ponds or bird baths.

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