Ascension Parish officials are asking residents to use common-sense practices in fighting mosquitoes.

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez proclaimed June 22-28 as Pilez Mosquito Week in Ascension Parish.

Ascension Parish joins other parishes in Louisiana in observance of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, which is designated by the American Mosquito Control Association. The word “pilez” is Cajun French for crush, kill or destroy.

“With Louisiana having its fair share of mosquitoes and the health concerns they bring with them, it’s important to remind everyone that mosquito control is a communitywide effort,” Martinez said.

Ascension Parish Mosquito Control Department Director David Matassa said Louisiana is home to dozens of species of mosquitoes that inhabit a wide range of habitats. However, they all require standing water to complete their developmental cycle, he said.

“By reducing standing water on your property, whether it’s a home or business, it is the best way for parish residents to help combat the mosquito problem,” Matassa said.

Open, water-filled containers provide mosquitoes with their best breeding grounds in developed areas. According to the AMCA, water left standing for five to seven days has the potential to produce literally hundreds of mosquitoes per day — mosquitoes that will stay close to that original water source.

Containers such as old tires, buckets and cans that are not being used should be emptied of standing water, Matassa said. Other potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes include old appliances, unplugged boats, toys, plastic sheeting, roof gutters, pool coverings and garbage cans.

Receptacles where standing water is desired — pet dishes, bird baths, reservoirs for flower pots or planters — should be flushed out with fresh water every four days to prevent mosquitoes from completing their developmental cycle.

For more information, call the Ascension Parish Mosquito Control Department at (225) 621-9613.