Joint Statement on Mosquito Control in the United States, Mosquito Control, US EPA

US EPA

Joint Statement on Mosquito Control in the United States from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Issued September 2012

The Role of Government Agencies and the Public

Mosquito-borne diseases are among the world’s leading causes of illness and death today. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million clinical cases each year are attributable to mosquito-borne illnesses. Despite great strides over the last 50 years, mosquito-borne illnesses continue to pose significant risks to parts of the population in the United States. Current challenges posed by the emergence of West Nile virus in the Western hemisphere illustrate the importance of cooperation and partnership at all levels of government to protect public health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, the Agency) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are working closely with each other and with other federal, state, and local agencies to protect the public from mosquito-borne diseases such as the West Nile virus.

CDC, working closely with state and local health departments, monitors the potential sources and outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases and provides advice and consultation on prevention and control of these diseases. CDC works with a network of experts in human and veterinary medicine, entomology, epidemiology, zoology, and ecology to obtain quick and accurate information on emerging trends which they develop into national strategies that reduce the risk of disease transmission.

EPA ensures that state and local mosquito control departments have access to effective mosquito control tools that they can use without posing unreasonable risk to human health and the environment. EPA encourages nonchemical mosquito prevention efforts, such as eliminating standing water that provide breeding sites. The Agency educates the public through outreach efforts to encourage proper use of insect repellents and mosquitocides. Additionally, EPA’s rigorous pesticide review process is designed to ensure that registered mosquitocides used according to label directions and precautions can further reduce disease-carrying mosquito populations.

State and local government agencies play a critical role in protecting public health from mosquito-borne diseases. They serve on the front line, providing information through their outreach programs to the medical and environmental surveillance networks that first identify possible outbreaks. They also manage the mosquito control programs that carry out prevention, public education and vector population management.

The public’s role in eliminating potential breeding habitats for mosquitoes — such as getting rid of any standing water around the home — is a critical step in reducing the risk of mosquito-borne disease transmission. The public is also encouraged to make sure window screens and screen doors are in good repair. When venturing into areas with high mosquito populations, the public should wear personal protection such as long sleeve shirts and long pants, preferably treated with a repellent.. People should use mosquito repellents when necessary, and always follow label instructions.

Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are found throughout the world and many transmit pathogens which may cause disease. These diseases include mosquito-borne viral encephalitis, dengue, yellow fever, malaria, and filariasis. Most of these diseases have been prominent as endemic or epidemic diseases in the United States in the past, but today, only the insect-borne (arboviral) encephalitides occur annually and dengue occurs periodically in this country. The major types of viral encephalitis in the United States include St. Louis, LaCrosse, Eastern equine and Western equine. These viruses are normally infections of birds or small mammals. During such infections, the level of the virus may increase in these infected animals facilitating transmission to humans by mosquitoes. The West Nile virus, which can also cause encephalitis, was found in the northeastern United States for the first time in 1999, is a good example of this mode of transmission. Human cases of encephalitis range from mild to very severe illnesses that, in a few cases, can be fatal. Dengue is a viral disease transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes. It is usually an acute, nonfatal disease, characterized by sudden onset of fever, headache, backache, joint pains, nausea, and vomiting. While most infections result in a mild illness, some may cause the severe forms of the disease. Dengue hemorrhagic fever, for example, is characterized by severe rash, nosebleeds, gastrointestinal bleeding and circulatory failure resulting in dengue shock syndrome and even death. Dengue is endemic in the Caribbean, Central and South America. Recently, dengue has occurred with increasing frequency in Texas. Other pathogens transmitted by mosquitoes include a protozoan parasite which causes malaria, and Dirofilaria immitis, a parasitic roundworm and the causative agent of dog heartworm. Disease carrying mosquito species are found throughout the U.S., especially in urban areas and coastal or in inland areas where flooding of low lands frequently occurs.

Mosquito Life Cycle

The life cycle of all mosquitoes consists of four distinct life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The first three stages occur in water, but the adult is an active flying insect that feeds upon the blood of humans and/or animals. The female mosquito lays the eggs directly on water or on moist substrates that may be flooded with water. The egg later hatches into the larva, the elongated aquatic stage most commonly observed as it swims in the water. The larva transforms into the pupa where internal changes occur and the adult mosquito takes form. After two days to a week in the pupal stage, the adult mosquito emerges onto the water’s surface and flies away. Only the female mosquito takes blood which they usually require for her eggs to develop.

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The practice of mosquito control focuses on the unique biology and behavior of the mosquito species of concern. Mosquito biology can follow two general scenarios. The first involves those species that lay their eggs in masses or rafts on the water’s surface. Some of these species, which are found throughout the U.S., often lay their eggs in natural or artificial water-holding containers found in the domestic environment, or in naturally occurring pools. The second scenario involves mosquitoes that lay their eggs on moist soil or other substrates in areas that will be flooded with water later. After about two days, these eggs are ready to hatch, but if not flooded, can withstand drying for months. In inland areas of the U.S. where these mosquitoes breed, heavy rains and flooding can produce millions of mosquitoes in a short time. Similar situations occur along coastal areas with mosquitoes adapted to salt marsh habitats. Some salt marsh mosquitoes are strong fliers and can sometimes travel up to 50 miles from the breeding site.

Mosquito Control Programs

In response to these potential disease carrying pests, communities organized the earliest mosquito control programs in the eastern U.S. in the early 1900s. Eventually, other communities created similar programs throughout the country in areas where mosquito problems occurred and where citizens demanded action by local officials. Modern mosquito control programs in the U.S. are multifaceted and include surveillance, source reduction, and a variety of larval and adult mosquito control strategies.

Surveillance methods include studying habitats by air, aerial photographs, and topographic maps, and evaluating larval populations. Mosquito control officials also monitor mosquito traps, biting counts, and complaints and reports from the public. Mosquito control activities are initiated once established mosquito threshold populations are exceeded. Seasonal records are kept in concurrence with weather data to predict mosquito larval occurrence and adult flights. Some mosquito control programs conduct surveillance for diseases harbored by birds, including crows, other wild birds, sentinel chicken flocks, and for these diseases in mosquitoes.

Source reduction involves eliminating the habitat or modifying the aquatic habitat to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. This measure includes sanitation measures where artificial containers, including discarded automobile tires, which can become mosquito habitats, are collected and properly disposed. Habitat modification may also involve management of impounded water or open marshes to reduce production and survival of the flood water mosquitoes. If habitat modification is not feasible, biological control using fish may be possible. Mosquito control officials often apply biological or chemical larvicides, with selective action and moderate residual activity, to the aquatic habitats. To have the maximum impact on the mosquito population, larvicides are applied during those periods when immature stages are concentrated in the breeding sites and before the adult forms emerge and disperse.

Some mosquitoes can fly from flood plains, coastal marsh areas, or protected habitats to impact urban residential areas. In these cases, it is often necessary to apply pesticides to kill adult mosquitoes. Surveillance data may prompt insecticide applications when mosquitoes are abundant. Applications usually coincide with the maximum adult mosquito activity in urban residential areas.

To be successful, mosquito control officials must apply insecticides under proper environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and wind) and at the time of day when the target species is most active. They must also apply these pesticides with carefully calibrated equipment that generates the proper-sized insecticide droplets that will impinge on adult mosquitoes while they are at rest or flying. If the droplets are too large, they will fall to the ground. If they are too small, the prevailing winds will carry them away from the target area. Once the insecticide spray mist dissipates, they break down in the environment (generally within 24 hours) producing little residual effect. Depending on the situation, mosquito control officials may safely apply these insecticides from spray equipment mounted on trucks, airplanes or helicopters. All insecticides used in the U.S. for public health use have been approved and registered by the EPA following the review of many scientific studies. The EPA has assessed these chemicals and found that, when used according to label directions, they do not pose unreasonable risk to public health and the environment.

Mosquito control officials have also developed water management strategies that take advantage of opportunities to maximize the impact of indigenous natural enemies to eliminate immature mosquitoes. The EPA and CDC encourage the use of these practices wherever they are environmentally sound, effective, and reduce pesticide use.

Integrated Pest Management

Mosquito control activities are important to the public health, and responsibility for carrying out these programs rests with state and local governments. The federal government assists states in emergencies and provides training and consultation in vector and vector-borne disease problems when requested by the states. The current interests in ecology and environmental impact of mosquito control measures, and the increasing problems that have resulted from insecticide resistance emphasize the need for «integrated» control programs. EPA and CDC encourage maximum adherence to integrated pest management (IPM). IPM is an ecologically based strategy that relies heavily on natural mortality factors and seeks out control tactics that are compatible with or disrupt these factors as little as possible. IPM uses pesticides, but only after systematic monitoring of pest populations indicates a need. Ideally, an IPM program considers all available control actions, including no action, and evaluates the interaction among various control practices, cultural practices, weather, and habitat structure. This approach thus uses a combination of resource management techniques to control mosquito populations with decisions based on surveillance. Fish and game specialists and natural resources biologists should be involved in planning control measures whenever delicate ecosystems could be impacted by mosquito control practices.

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The underlying philosophy of mosquito control is based on the fact that the greatest control impact on mosquito populations will occur when they are concentrated, immobile and accessible. This emphasis focuses on habitat management and controlling the immature stages before the mosquitoes emerge as adults. This policy reduces the need for widespread pesticide application in urban areas.

EPA and CDC recommend that professional mosquito control organizations throughout the U.S. continue to use IPM strategies. Both agencies recognize a legitimate and compelling need for the prudent use of space sprays, under certain circumstances, to control adult mosquitoes. This is especially true during periods of mosquito-borne disease transmission or when source reduction and larval control have failed or are not feasible.

Education

To be of maximum effectiveness, the people, for whom protection is provided, must understand and support mosquito control. An integral part of most organized mosquito control programs is public education. It is important that residents have a good understanding of mosquitoes, the benefits realized from their control and the role people have in preventing certain mosquito-borne diseases. Being aware of pesticide application times is also important for individuals so they may decide on precautions they may need to take. While this usually involves education of the public through announcements in the media, some control programs have staffs that develop and present educational programs in public schools. People who are informed about mosquito biology and controls are more likely to mosquito-proof their homes, and eliminate mosquito breeding places on their own property.

For More Information

For more information about mosquito control in your area, contact your state or local health department. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a source of information on disease control, and their Internet web site includes a listing of state health departments.

To contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Information on pesticides used in mosquito control can be obtained from the state agency which regulates pesticides, or from the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) West Nile Resource Guide.Exit

National Pesticide Information Center
1-800-858-7378 — daily except holidays. Callers outside normal hours can leave a voice mail message.
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://npic.orst.edu/ Exit

Information on mosquito control programs can also be obtained from the American Mosquito Control Association (ATop of PageMCA) website. This site also lists many county mosquito agencies.

For more information regarding the federal pesticide regulatory programs, contact:
EPA Office of Pesticide Programs
Ask a question
Website: https://www.epa.gov/pesticides

Contact Us to ask a question, provide feedback, or report a problem.

www.epa.gov

What helps mosquitoes — modern methods of struggle

OA is the most common type of arthritis. It tends to occur in middle age or due to an injury or obesity.

OA is the most common type of arthritis. It tends to occur in middle age or due to an injury or obesity.

Sometimes called wear and tear arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis. When the smooth cushion between bones (cartilage) breaks down, joints can get painful, swollen and hard to move. OA can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in hands, knees, hips, lower back and neck. OA can happen at any age, but it commonly starts in the 50s and affects women more than men. This disease starts gradually and worsens over time. But there are ways to manage OA to prevent or minimize pain and keep mobile. Some people never develop OA.

Osteoarthritis was long believed to be caused by the wearing down of joints over time. But scientists now see it as a disease of the joint.

Here are some things that may contribute to OA:

  • Age. The risk of developing OA increases someone gets older because bones, muscles and joints are also aging .
  • Joint injury. A break or tear, can lead to OA after years.
  • Overuse. Using the same joints over and over in a job or sport can result in OA.
  • Obesity. Extra weight puts more stress on a joint and fats cells promote inflammation.
  • Weak muscles. Joints can get out of the right position when there’s not enough support.
  • Genes. People with family members who have OA are more likely to develop OA.
  • Sex. Women are more likely to develop OA than men

Symptoms tend to build over time rather than show up suddenly. They include:

  • Pain or aching in the joint during activity, after long activity or at the end of the day.
  • Joint stiffness usually occurs first thing in the morning or after resting.
  • Limited range of motion that may go away after movement.
  • Clicking or cracking sound when a joint bends.
  • Swelling around a joint.
  • Muscle weakness around the joint.
  • Joint instability or buckling (knee gives out).

Here are ways that OA may affect different parts of the body:

  • Hips. Pain is felt in the groin area or buttocks and sometimes on the inside of the knee or thigh.
  • Knees. A “grating” or “scraping” feeling when moving the knee.
  • Fingers. Bony growths (spurs) at the edge of joints can cause fingers to become swollen, tender and red. There may be pain at the base of the thumb.
  • Feet. The big toe feels painful and tender. Ankles or toes may swell.

As OA gets worse, cartilage may get uneven edges and cracks. Bones may harden, change shape and get bumpy. Once cartilage breaks down, it doesn’t grow back on its own.

Pain, reduced mobility, side effects from medications and other factors associated with osteoarthritis can lead to negative health effects not directly related to the joint disease.

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Obesity, Diabetes and Heart Disease
Knee or hip pain may make it harder to exercise. That can cause or worsen weight gain and lead to obesity. Being overweight or obese can lead to the development of high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Falls
People with osteoarthritis experience as much as 30 percent more falls and have a 20 percent greater risk of facture than those without OA. Having OA can decrease function, weaken muscles and make it more likely that someone has a fall. Side effects from pain medications, such as dizziness, can also contribute to falls.

Medical history, a physical examination and lab tests help to make an OA diagnosis.

A primary care doctor may be the first person you talk to about joint pain. The doctor will go over medical history information, symptoms, how the pain affects activities, as well as medical problems and medication use. The doctor will look at and move the joints. These tests help to make the diagnosis:

  • Joint aspiration. After numbing the area, a needle is inserted into the joint to pull out fluid. This test will look for infection or crystals in the fluid . The results can help rule out other medical conditions or other forms of arthritis.
  • X-ray. X-rays can show joint or bone damage or changes related to osteoarthritis.
  • MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) gives a better view of cartilage and other parts of the joint.

There is no cure for OA, but medication, nondrug methods and assistive devices can help to ease pain. As a last resort, a damaged joint can be surgically replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic one.

Medications

Pain and anti-inflammatory medicines for osteoarthritis are available as pills, syrups, patches and creams, or they are injected into a joint. They include:

  • Analgesics. These are pain relievers and include acetaminophen and opioids. Acetaminophen is available over-the-counter (OTC), and opioids must be prescribed by a doctor.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are the most commonly used drugs to ease inflammation and pain. They include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and celecoxib. They are available OTC or by prescription, but the OTC versions only help the pain.
  • Counterirritants. These OTC products have ingredients like capsaicin and menthol. They irritate nerve endings, so the painful area feels cold, warm or itchy to take focus away from the actual pain.
  • Corticosteroids –These prescription anti-inflammatory medicines work in a similar way to a hormone called cortisol. The medicine is taken by mouth or injected into the joint at a doctor’s office.
  • Hyaluronic acid. Available from a doctor by injection, this gel is like joint fluid made naturally in the body.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Available from a doctor by injection, this product has proteins that help ease pain and inflammation.
  • Other drugs. The anti-depressant duloxetine (Cymbalta) and the anti-seizure drug pregabalin (Lyrica) are oral medicines that are FDA-approved to treat OA pain.

Nondrug Therapies

Exercise

Movement is an essential part of an OA treatment plan. Getting 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per week should be the goal according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A good exercise program to fight OA pain and stiffness has four parts:

Strengthening exercises build muscles around painful joints and helps to ease the stress on them.

  • Range-of-motion exercise or stretchinghelps to reduce stiffness and keep joints moving.
  • Aerobic or cardio exercises help improve stamina and energy levels and reduce excess weight.
  • Balance exercises help strengthen small muscles around the knees and ankles and help prevent falls.
  • Talk to a doctor or physical therapist before starting a new exercise program.

    Weight Loss

    Weighing more than what’s healthy puts extra stress on the hips, knees, feet and back. Losing weight helps to reduce pain and stop or slow down joint damage. Every pound of weight lost removes four pounds of pressure on lower-body joints.

    Physical Therapies and Assistive Devices
    Physical therapists, occupational therapists and chiropractors can provide:

    • Specific exercises to help stabilize your joints and ease pain.
    • Information about natural treatments and products that can ease pain.
    • Instruction to make movement easier and to protect joints.
    • Braces, shoe inserts or other assistive devices.

    Surgery

    Joint surgery can improve function or replace damaged joints to restore mobility and relieve pain. Hips and knees are the joints most commonly replaced. An orthopedic surgeon can determine the best procedure based on how badly damaged the joint is.

    Practicing these habits can slow down OA, keep you healthy and put off surgery as long as possible.

    Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Excess weight worsens OA. Combine healthy eating with regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight.

    Control Blood Sugar

    Many people have diabetes and OA. Having high glucose levels can make cartilage stiffer and more likely to break down. Having diabetes causes inflammation, which also weakens cartilage.

    Maintain Range of Motion

    Movement is medicine for joints. Make a habit of putting your joints through their full range of motion, but only up to the point where it doesn’t cause more pain. Gentle stretching, raising and lowering legs from a standing or seated position, daily walks and hobbies such as gardening can help. But listen to your body and never push too hard.

    Protect Joints

    Make sure to warm up and cool down when doing exercise. If you play sports, protects joints with the right gear. Use your largest, strongest joints for lifting, pushing, pulling and carrying. Watch your step to prevent falls. Balance rest and activity throughout the day.

    Relax

    Find ways to reduce or avoid stress through meditation, listening to music, connecting with friends and family, doing fun activities, and finding ways to relax and recharge.

    Choose a healthy lifestyle

    Eating healthy food, not smoking, drinking in moderation and getting good sleep will help you to feel your best.

    www.arthritis.org

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