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Vector Control wants your old tires

Jackson County residents can help cut the local mosquito population by dropping off old tires this week.

The Jackson County Vector Control District, located at 555 Mosquito Lane in Central Point, is hosting a free-drop off event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The event is for automobile tires only that are off the rim and not larger than 34 inches. People dropping off tires need to bring identification or a utility bill statement showing their home address in order to verify they live in Jackson County.

Up to 15 tires per residence and 30 tires per drop-off vehicle will be accepted.

Old tires are a particular problem since the water they hold can’t be dumped out easily and tire disposal can be difficult, vector control district officials said.

“Mosquitoes produced in containers around your home are not only a nuisance, but they also can carry diseases such as West Nile virus,” said Jim Lunders, manager and biologist for the district. “We are holding a free tire disposal event this week to assist county residents in removing these potential mosquito-producing sources.”

Since it began offering the free tire drop-off event in 2015, the district has collected thousands of old tires.

Tires that capture water from sprinklers and rain can hold that water for months, according to district officials.

Mosquitoes lay eggs in water. Larvae hatch from the eggs, go through a pupal stage and emerge as flying mosquitoes. Depending on the mosquito species, the insects’ life cycle can be as short as four days or as long as a month, according to the American Mosquito Control Association.

For mosquitoes found in the Rogue Valley, a single tire can produce hundreds of mosquitoes per week, according to Vector Control.

District officials warn anything that can hold standing water for seven days can produce mosquitoes — including buckets, coffee cans, wheelbarrows, flooded fields and clogged gutters.

Residents should search their property and eliminate sources of standing water.

Lunders said despite dry conditions, the district is still finding containers filled with water and mosquito larvae around homes when responding to requests for service.

“We need the public’s assistance in reducing water-holding containers around their property,” said Lunders. “Eliminating back yard sources is the first step in reducing mosquito populations around your home.”

In addition to eliminating containers, the district recommends stocking water troughs and ornamental ponds with mosquito fish, which eat mosquito larvae and adults. The fish are available for free at the district office.

To avoid mosquito bites, the district advices people to avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when the insects are most active, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants in infested areas, make sure all screen doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and wear Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent containing DEET, lemon eucalyptus oil, IR3535 or picaridin.

For more information about mosquitoes and vector district services, call 541-826-2199 or visit www.jcvcd.org.

For more information about the West Nile virus in Oregon, see www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/DiseasesConditions/DiseasesAZ/WestNileVirus/Pages/survey.aspx.

For national information about West Nile virus, visit www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her @VickieAldous.

Mail Tribune file photo of a past drop-off event.