LANCASTER – The invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti — known for transmitting diseases like Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and Zika virus — has been detected in a Lancaster neighborhood, according to the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. It was found in a sample collected near Avenue J and Foxton Avenue, officials said Friday.
“This mosquito has been spreading throughout California for the past few years, but has never been detected in the Antelope Valley until now,” stated District Manager Cei Kratz. “It is a very aggressive day-time biter, which is different from our usual mosquitoes, which bite during dusk and dawn.”
Invasive Aedes mosquitoes are small (about ¼ inch), black and white, and feed almost exclusively on humans, biting aggressively all day long. [View a fact sheet here.] Female mosquitoes will lay eggs in small containers, just above the water line, and they can dry up and survive for six or more months. To eliminate this mosquito people need to eliminate all possible standing water sources where mosquitoes lay eggs. The public plays a critical role in helping to control the spread of this mosquito population.
AVMVCD personnel will be increasing mosquito trapping and conducting an intensive door-to-door survey in the vicinity where Aedes aegypti was detected to increase public awareness and to determine the extent of the infestation.
The District is also urging residents to remove all standing water sources, especially small items such as buckets, tires, and plant saucers. Scrubbing the insides of the containers is also recommended, as this can dislodge eggs deposited above the water line. The District also urges residents to do their part to protect themselves from mosquito bites by following these recommendations:
- Check property for standing water and get rid of it, even very small sources.
- Use CDC recommended insect repellents when outside during mosquito activity (DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535).
- Check around faucets and air conditioner units, and repair leaks or puddles that remain for several days.
- Report any day-time biting mosquitoes to the AVMVCD.
To stay up-to-date on local mosquito-related information, visit www.avmosquito.org. For questions or services, contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District at 661-942-2917.