FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the news of more than a dozen cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in Florida by infected mosquitoes within the U.S., the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is urging proper mosquito control practices to help lessen the outbreak. The NPMA, a non-profit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests, is leading industry efforts to educate professional pest control companies, as well as the American public, on the importance of proper mosquito control.
“This issue is so critical and we all need to be involved and doing our part to help stop the spread of additional outbreaks here in the U.S.,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “We’re working around the clock to educate members in our industry and the residents in the communities they serve about the growing threat of Zika virus. Now, in the midst of mosquito season, it’s an all hands on deck strategy.”
In an effort to provide pest control companies with the most comprehensive resources, the NPMA is distributing mosquito control and Zika information through a variety of vehicles. They’ve designed a 30-minute online training course and a four-part webinar series that provides an overview of Zika virus, how to inform customers on protection measures, information on the biology and behavior of the mosquitoes that transmit Zika, and best strategies to manage mosquitoes and eliminate breeding locations. The group also regularly communicates updates from CDC representatives to ensure the industry has the most up-to-date information when out in the field.
The NPMA is also advising the public to remain vigilant when spending any amount of time outdoors and is requesting their help in eliminating sources of standing water on their properties, which can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. “People need to be inspecting their properties on a regular basis for standing water that may be conducive to mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes need only a half an inch of water to lay their eggs, so even items the size of a bottle cap can breed offspring,” said Mannes. “If they have a problem and need professional help, make sure the company is trained and licensed and has experience in mosquito control.”
The group recently released a national broadcast PSA campaign and regularly posts advice and articles to its website and social media pages to reach consumer audiences. The NPMA also worked in conjunction with the CDC to produce a video on how to apply insect repellant — advising viewers on choosing both an effective formulation and applying it appropriately to keep biting mosquitoes away.
“Prevention around the clock is of the utmost importance,” added Mannes. “The mosquitoes that spread Zika virus bite throughout the day, so proper attire and wearing an effective repellent is key. Pregnant women should be especially vigilant and heed travel advisories, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and use insect repellent when traveling outdoors.”
For more information about mosquitoes and Zika virus, please visit PestWorld.org. Pest control companies seeking more information on the resources and training available to them should contact the NPMA directly at (800) 678-6722.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit PestWorld.org.