After relatively wet winter, officials turn to residents for mosquito control in SLO County

Apr 25, 2016

The first relatively wet rainy season in years has local health officers looking for ways to control the number of mosquitos on the Central Coast. 

With continued concern over West Nile Virus and the new Zika threat, mosquito management is more important than its been in some time.

However, San Luis Obispo County no longer has a mosquito control program after voters denied funding for it back in 2009. The County now relies on residents to control the pest.

Richard Lichtenfels is the Supervising Environmental Health Specialist for the County and told KCXB that there are talks in the works to bring back a vector control program, but nothing that would be in place by this summer.

"Certainly there's concern with regard to Zika and I think there's always certainly public health concern with regard to mosquitoes in general, in the area, in San Luis Obispo County," said Lichtenfels. "I think we're always optimistic as a public health department that at some point in time we will have a fully-funded vector control program, including mosquito control."

The City of Atascadero is hoping residents and property owners will step up efforts to control mosquitos. Terrie Banish is the Deputy City Manager and says a tips sheet is now available and the city is also doing what it can on its own property.

"But we can only do so much so this is intended to help the residents in maintaining it as well, and if everybody is together in that effort then it's a win-win situation," said Banish.

Lichtenfels says he hopes entire neighborhoods will unite to control mosquito breeding areas, as the pests have a mile or so radius from where they hatch.