By C.J. Barbre

At the Oct. 12 Lindsay City Council meeting City Manager Scot Townsend informed the council that Lindsay has been contacted by Porterville to discuss possible mosquito abatement solutions.

Lindsay, Porterville and the surrounding unincorporated areas are not part of any existing abatement districts. In fact, there hasn't even been a discussion about abatement districts since the 1960s at which time Lindsay residents were not willing to accept an increase in property taxes to join or form an abatement district.

But of course, in the 1960s there was no such thing as West Nile virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been 732 human cases of West Nile virus reported in California as of Oct. 12, with 19 deaths. There have been three cases reported in Tulare County and no deaths to date.

"We thought we should at least educate the public," Townsend said.

The city plans to mail out notices that it is not part of an abatement district, so citizens don't have a false sense of security. Notices will also include ways to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile with some pretty simple steps as follows:

  • Eliminate standing water around the house since it is where mosquitoes lay their eggs, including in old tires, cans, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, standing water under swamp coolers, etc.

  • Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active.

  • Repair window and door screens.

  • Wear long sleeves and pants at dusk and dawn in areas where mosquitoes are active.

  • Use a repellent that contains the ingredient DEET

    Townsend also suggested having a town hall meeting to spread the word.

    Mayor Pro Tem Pam Kimball said the people likely to go to a town hall meeting probably already read the Gazette. She suggested passing out information at the Friday night farmers market.

    Mayor Ed Murray noted that horses are very susceptible to West Nile.

    It was decided that, in addition to mailed notices, there would be one town hall meeting at a date to be determined, and the passing out of information at the farmers market.

    "At the first frost the mosquitoes will be gone," the mayor, who is in the pest control business, observed.

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