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Glendale, AZ

Glendale, AZ
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Environmental Resources - Public Health

Environmental Education | West Nile Virus | West Nile Tips | West Nile Fact Sheet
County Public Health Website
| Links to More on West Nile | Molds, Mildew and Pollen

Quality of life is a primary concern for everyone. We want clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and the ability to eat the foods we produce without fear of toxic chemicals. We want our children to be able to play without concern for contaminated soil, water and air.

The quality of life we enjoy is largely the result of our use of chemicals. We use chemicals to manufacture consumer products and to fertilize crops. We use chemicals to clean our homes, protect the working parts of our cars, wash our dishes, clean our clothing and a wide variety of other uses. However, improper disposal of chemicals and waste products create hazards that can diminish the very quality of life that we seek to maintain.

West Nile

Public health officials in the United States expect that the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus will eventually be present throughout the country; it was recently found in Arizona. The West Nile Virus poses a significant public health challenge because West Nile Virus can, in extreme cases, result in serious illness, including death.

West Nile Virus is transmitted from infected birds to human beings and other animals via mosquitoes. Therefore, public health agencies and government organizations at the federal, state and local levels are working together to protect the public through surveillance, mosquito control and public education programs. A mosquito control program is the most effective strategy to reduce mosquito-borne diseases.

Who to Contact?

Contact Information

Adult Mosquito Swarm or standing water containing larva and pupa

  • Private (but, not your property)
  • Federal
  • State
  • County
  • Schools
  • If you are unsure of landownership

Maricopa County Complaint Hotline
(602) 506-6616
24 hours a day
Online Request for Service

Adult Mosquito Swarm or standing water containing larva and pupa

  • City of Glendale (e.g., parks, stormwater retention basins)

City of Glendale Environmental Resources
(623) 930-4100
Online Request for Service

Dead Birds

  • All properties

Maricopa County Complaint Hotline
(602) 506-6616
24 hours a day
OnLine Request for Service

West Nile Fact Sheet

Q1. What is the West Nile Virus and what are its symptoms?

The West Nile Virus is a virus that is closely related to St. Louis encephalitis virus found in the U.S. Most people infected by the West Nile Virus experience either no illness or temporary flu-like symptoms, such as fever, body aches, headaches, rash or swollen lymph glands.

In extreme cases, infection with the West Nile Virus can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), or inflammation of the brain and the membrane surrounding it (meningoencephalitis). In cases where the infection causes encephalitis or meningitis, serious illness, permanent neurological damage or even death can occur. Symptoms may include severe headaches, high fever, severe body aches, muscle weakness, stiff neck, confusion, and loss of consciousness/coma. It is estimated that less than 1 percent of the people infected with the West Nile Virus will develop any of these extreme symptoms.

Q2. Does the West Nile Virus pose a greater risk to the elderly, pregnant women, infants, and/or children?

Persons over age 50 are most likely to develop severe West Nile disease such as encephalitis or meningitis when infected with West Nile Virus.

The virus does not pose a greater risk to pregnant women or their unborn child. Additionally, infants do not appear to be at greater risk for severe infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control, of the over 2500 West Nile Virus cases reported in 2002, only four patients were less than one year old.

Q3. How does the West Nile Virus spread?

The West Nile Virus has been found in 44 states across the continental U.S. Experts believe that it will be introduced into Arizona in the near future.

The primary method of spreading the virus is through mosquitoes. Birds that carry the virus pass it on to the mosquitoes. Mosquitoes then transmit the virus to humans (and other mammals). It usually takes 3 to 15 days for illness to occur. Not all mosquitoes carry the virus.

Although very rare, the virus is also believed to be transmittable through transfusions with infected blood, infected organ transplants, through placental barriers, and potentially through breast-feeding.

Q4. Is there a vaccine to prevent infection and when should you seek medical attention?

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent infection in humans. Infected persons that have no symptoms or mild illness will recover fully. People that develop symptoms indicating encephalitis or meningitis should seek immediate medical care. Consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment.

Q5. Can pets be infected?

Yes, pets can be infected. Not all pets will develop serious illness when infected. Seek medical care from a veterinarian if your pet experiences symptoms of encephalitis or meningitis.

Q6. What can you do to reduce your risk of becoming infected with the West Nile Virus?

Make your home and community less hospitable to mosquitoes

  • Install/maintain tight fitting window and door screens that keep mosquitoes outdoors
  • Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible
  • Keep the water in your swimming pool or outdoor hot tubs properly chlorinated
  • If possible cover your swimming pool or outdoor hot tub when not in use
  • Drain any standing water that collects outdoors, e.g., in flower pots, bird baths, gardens, wheelbarrows, cans, buckets, old tires, covers, roof gutters, low spots, etc.
  • If you receive flood irrigation, make sure that it soaks into the ground within 3 days
  • Do not over irrigate landscaping, water may collect at a low spot on or off your property

Reduce your exposure to mosquitoes when you are outdoors

  • Wear protective clothing, e.g., long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks particularly during the morning, evening and night when mosquitoes are most active
  • Consider using an insect repellant, e.g., DEET (use and store the product according to manufacturer’s directions)

Q7. What is the state and county doing to reduce the public health risk from the West Nile Virus?

There are currently about 6000 sites that the Maricopa County Vector Control regularly monitors and/or applies mosquito control measures. State and County epidemiology departments are working closely with Maricopa County Vector Control to monitor the arrival and potential spread of West Nile Virus in Arizona.

To register a mosquito complaint, call the Maricopa County Vector Control complaint line at (602) 506-6616.

Q8. What is the city doing to control mosquitoes?

The city is currently identifying city-owned properties, which are potential mosquito breeding sites. The city will control mosquito breeding mainly through improvements in drainage at these sites, and partially through the use of pesticides. Additionally, the city is developing a public information program to assist its citizens in determining which measures might be necessary to control mosquito populations on private properties.

Q9. Are the pesticides used to control mosquitoes safe to use?

One of the most widely used control measures is the application of larvicides. These pesticides target mosquito larvae in the breeding sites before they develop into adult mosquitoes and disperse. The larvicides of choice are a mineral oil based liquid, and a naturally occurring soil bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis. The oil creates a thin film over the surface of the water at a breeding site and acts to suffocate the developing mosquito larvae. This larvicide is approximately 97 percent mineral oil, a non-toxic household product. The remaining 3 percent is primarily surfactancts to aid in the even dispersal of the oil on the surface of the water. The Bt product is applied to the water at a breeding site, is ingested by feeding mosquito larvae, and subsequently becomes toxic to the developing mosquito. Other chemical and microbiological larvicides can also be used. The city will use pesticides that are considered safe for both its citizens and the environment.

Links to More on West Nile

  • City of Glendale
    Environmental Resources Department
    5850 W. Glendale Ave.
    Glendale, AZ. 85301
    (623) 930-2289

Molds, Mildew and Pollen

While there is a growing recognition that certain molds and mildew pose a public health problem (particularly indoors), there are no federal guidelines or health based standards to regulate air pollution caused by molds and mildews. Here are a few facts you should know:

  • Mold and mildew spores can cause an allergic reaction to the human body.
  • Not all people are allergic to all molds and mildews. Allergic symptoms include headaches, bodyaches and respiratory problems.
  • There are many different types of molds and mildews and not all pose a public health problem.
  • Molds and mildews need moisture and cellulose (i.e., wood-based material including cardboard, paper, fiberboard and lumber) to fuel its growth. Common sources of moisture that may cause the growth of molds and mildew are water from a leaky pipe, shower or bathroom stall, kitchen cabinet, air conditioning duct joints and laundry rooms. These conditions can cause mold and mildew growth on walls (drywalls and studs), wallpaper backing, insulation and the carpet backing.
  • The first step to get rid of a mold or mildew problem is to find and stop the water. You may have to tear out and dispose of the infected materials. At the very least, you need to use a bleach solution (between a 10 percent and 50 percent mix with water) to kill the mold or mildew. If you do the cleanup job yourself, you should wear personal protective equipment; gloves and goggles maybe even a cartridge-type respirator (you should check with your doctor prior to using a respirator). You can also hire a qualified company to handle your mold or mildew problem.

Plant pollen can cause allergic reactions. The height of the pollen season is the spring. Plants that rely on the wind for pollination are the primary cause of allergic reactions in people. In Arizona, the worst plants that cause allergic reactions are ragweed, mulberry, bermuda grass, olive trees, ash trees and juniper. There are currently no federal guidelines or health based standards to regulate pollen air pollution caused by plants.



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