LANCASTER – Aedes aegypti — an invasive species of mosquitoes known to transmit diseases like yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus — has been detected in Lancaster and Palmdale, according to the Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.
The invasive mosquitoes were found recently in samples collected near 30th West and Avenue L in Lancaster and 25th Street East and Avenue R-8 in Palmdale. The District detected Aedes aegypti in these same two locations in years prior, but this is the first detection for the 2020 season, officials said.
This type of mosquito was first discovered in the Antelope Valley in October of 2018, but we have since detected it several more times during the 2019 season, and now this year,” said District entomologist Karen Mellor.
Aedes aegypti is a small black and white mosquito that feeds almost exclusively on humans, biting all day long. Female mosquitoes will lay eggs in small containers, just above the water line. The eggs can dry up and survive for six or more months, waiting for the container to re-flood so they can hatch.
“Although these mosquitoes have the potential to carry these diseases [yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika], there is currently no local transmission occurring,” said District Manager Cei Kratz. “Keeping mosquito populations low remains of utmost importance due to the potential for these diseases to make their way into the mosquito population.”
AVMVCD personnel have increased mosquito surveillance in target areas and will continue to place traps that are designed to attract egg-laying Aedes mosquitoes. Once trapped, the mosquitoes are contaminated with larvicide. When they leave the trap, they spread larvicide to several breeding sites around the trap which targets larvae in small and hard to find breeding sources. The adult mosquito also gets infected with a mosquito-specific fungus that kills her before she can spread disease.
The District is also urging residents to do their part to protect themselves from mosquito bites by following these recommendations:
- Apply EPA registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the
- Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are most active.
- Be sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- Inspect yards for standing water sources and drain water that may have collected under potted plants, in bird baths, discarded tires, and any other items that could collect water.
- Check rain gutters and lawn drains to make sure they aren’t holding water and debris.
- Clean and scrub bird baths and pet watering dishes weekly.
- Check indoor plants that are kept in standing water for mosquito activity (i.e. Bamboo and Philodendron)
- Report daytime biting mosquitoes to the AVMVCD at 661-942-2917.
To stay up-to-date on any mosquito-related, visit www.avmosquito.org,
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.]