Vector Control warning

 

As spring begins, Jackson County residents should take action to protect their animals from mosquitoes and ticks, and the diseases that they carry, including West Nile virus (WNv), Heartworm and Lyme disease. “WNv, Heartworm and Lyme disease all occur in Jackson County and it is important for residents to take steps to protect themselves and their pets from vector borne diseases,” said Jim Lunders, Manager and Biologist of the Jackson County Vector Control District.

Lunders explained that horses are particularly susceptible to WNv , as they have no protection from mosquito bites other than what is provided by their owners. “A horse in a stall or pasture can’t go inside or put on insect repellant when bothered by mosquitoes” said Lunders, “horse owners have a responsibility to minimize their exposure to mosquito bites and properly vaccinate them against WNv, Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) and other diseases.” It is important that horses be vaccinated in the spring before these diseases are detected. Horses that have never been vaccinated for WNv will require two doses of vaccine 3-6 weeks apart as soon as possible. Horses will be protected against the disease about 4 weeks after the second dose. Previously vaccinated horses require an annual booster to maintain protection. Horse owners should consult with their veterinarians on a vaccination program for the 2017 mosquito season. Horses are also susceptible to several tick borne diseases including Lyme disease, Equine Piroplasmosis and Anaplasmosis. Horse owners should discuss a parasite control program with their vet that includes tick control measures.

Mosquitoes can also spread disease to your canine and feline friends. The Western Treehole Mosquito Aedes sierrensis is the primary vector for Heartworm and is prevalent in the oak and madrone forests of Southern Oregon. Dog and cat owners are reminded that heartworm control products should be used year round to prevent the disease from harming your pet or being spread by mosquitoes to others. Ticks are also common here and vector Lyme disease and Ehrlichia anaplasma to dogs. “Flea and tick preventative products will reduce the chances of your dog contracting one of these diseases,” said Lunders, “controlling these pests on your pet also reduces the chance that they will make a meal out of you.” Pet owners should always consult with their veterinarian before starting any new parasite control or vaccine regime.

“As summer approaches, we encourage people to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their animals from vectors and the diseases they carry,” said Lunders. He offered the following suggestions to reduce you and your pet’s risk:

 Vaccinate horses for WNv.

 

 Use flea and tick control products.

 

 Use Heartworm control products year round.

 

 Eliminate all sources of standing water that can be a breeding ground for biting mosquitoes, such as flooded fields, birdbaths, wading pools & swimming pools not in use, clogged gutters and old tires. If it holds water for 7 days, it can produce mosquitoes.

 

 Stock mosquito fish in water troughs and ornamental ponds, they are available free at the District Office.

 

 Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

 

 Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when in mosquito-infested areas.

 

 Use mosquito repellents containing DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535 or Picaridin, making sure to follow the directions on the container.

 

 Use EPA registered residual insect sprays on horses making sure to follow the direction on the container.

 

 Make sure all screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly.

 

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