To prevent an outbreak of West Nile virus, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has directed city departments to begin a mosquito elimination sweep program for the second consecutive year.
Fouts has directed city DPW division employees to begin depositing mosquito prevention briquettes into the city’s 18,000 catch basins, and he has directed all city inspectors to look for stagnant standing water.
“Mosquito bites transmit the dangerous West Nile virus that resulted in 5,387 infections and 243 deaths in 2012, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” said Fouts.
Property maintenance inspectors have been directed to identify pools or ponds of water which would be ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. They will also identify other potential breeding areas for mosquitoes such as dumpsters, wheelbarrows, tires, hubcaps, garden equipment, pool covers, pipes, drains, recycling bins, flower pots, buckets and clogged rain gutters. Residents are encouraged to check the above items and make sure they are emptied of standing stagnant water.
Fouts said, if inspectors identify stagnant pools and other major sources of mosquito breeding, homeowners will be notified that they must eliminate the problem or they may face fines up to $1000.
Fouts said mosquito prevention tips will be included in all city publications.
The Recreation Department will direct and train their employees to identify and then treat places of standing water in the parks with “mosquito dunks,” which are similarly shaped like hockey pucks. They dissolve in water and kill the larvae.
Fouts has stated “that every effort will be put forth to protect Warren residents against the dangers posed by mosquito infestation.”
Fouts further noted, “that Michigan was one of the top two states in both fatalities and serious illnesses caused by West Nile almost 10 years ago”.