This week, Clackamas County residents may have seen notices appearing from the Clackamas County Vector Control District warning of spraying treatments. The notices may have led to confusion, with no specific indication of the exact location of treatment. Despite the notices cropping up, Vector Control's Executive Director Josh Jacobsen assured that the district has no intentions of spraying private property unless asked by the owner.
The stated goal of the district, per the Clackamas County Vector Control's website, is to "Limit the number of vectors thus reducing annoyance and the likelihood of vector-borne disease for persons living in the District." The district accomplishes this stated goal by mainly focusing on the control of flies and mosquitoes.
Vector-borne diseases from mosquitoes are of increasing worry this year in Oregon, as the Portland metropolitan experienced a record-breaking heat wave this June, according to the National Weather Service. With temperatures on the rise, states like Oregon are expected to become increasingly suitable to species of mosquitoes traditionally seen in southern parts of the country. This makes vector control all that the more challenging and the need for spraying in higher demand.
In vector control's annual report, it's mentioned that the district uses a spray that is a mosquito larval suppressant. This spray is applied to common mosquito larval habitats like dairy milking ponds, septic tanks, etc. When the district is testing for vector-borne diseases, they use a carbon dioxide-baited trap, which can target a number of different species of mosquitoes. The district also takes mosquitoes that they capture in these traps back to their laboratory to test for West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus was first detected in Oregon in 2004, and since then there has been over 180 cases within the state. Most cases are found in southern or eastern Oregon.
In making sure that you are avoiding overexposure to these species of mosquitoes and other vector-borne diseases, the district recommends against having still or stagnant water on your property. However, Clackamas County Vector Control will not spray any county private property without prior permission.
How do I place a request for service?
If you are having fly or mosquito issues on your property, Clackamas County Vector Control has a service request form you can fill out located at: http://fightthebites.com/service-request/. You can expect to receive a response from the district within 24 to 48 hours on weekdays.
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