The City of Auburn has joined forces with the local county and state health departments (Seattle-King County Health Department, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Washington State Health Department) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to raise awareness of West Nile virus (WNV) and the steps people can take to prevent the mosquito-born illness. The Fight the Bite initiative is a national effort to help Americans learn more about WNV prevention during peak periods of mosquito activity. State and county health departments - and their local partners - are working to promote WNV prevention information that emphasizes the following key steps:
- Avoid mosquito bites: Use insect repellent when outdoors especially from dusk to dawn. Look for EPA-labeled products containing active ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin (KBR3023), or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane 3,8-diol). Apply more repellent, according to label instructions, if mosquitoes start to bite. Read more at Washington State Department of Health Mosquito Repellent How to Use It Safely (PDF).
- Mosquito-proof homes: Fix or install window and door screens and cover or eliminate empty containers with standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs. Read more at Washington State Department of Health Mosquito Problems Start At Home (PDF).
To fight the bite the City of Auburn:
- Provides WNV information to the public on the City's web page and has brochures available in the lobby of the Customer Service Center, 1 East Main Street, 2nd Floor (located in the Annex Building just east of city hall, across Division Street).
- Monitors mosquito larva counts in the city-owned stormwater ponds and treats as needed to reduce mosquito populations.
To report mosquito problem areas call the Storm Drainage Technician at 253-876-1915.
Seasonal activity varies from year to year, but mosquitoes carrying WNV remain a threat. WNV has spread from coast to coast. WNV can cause serious neurological illnesses, such as meningitis and encephalitis. Despite WNV's spread across the country and the severe illnesses that it can cause, large numbers of Americans are not taking the precautions necessary to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Adults who are 50 and older have the highest risk of illness caused by West Nile virus. People who work outdoors in occupations like farming or construction are at greater risk of getting bitten by an infected mosquito. One bite from an infected mosquito can lead to a severe illness and possibly life-altering illness. Prevention is the key to protection. For more information, visit