LANCASTER – The tenfold growth in detections of invasive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes during the 2021 mosquito season has prompted the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District to remind local residents about the importance of taking proper personal mosquito control measures this season.
Aedes aegypti is an invasive mosquito species that is well known in tropical regions, but has now become established in the Antelope Valley area and throughout California. Aedes aegypti mosquitos have the potential to carry very different diseases than native Culex mosquitoes and are known transmitters of diseases like yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, and zika virus.
The AVMVCD urges the community to report any daytime biting mosquitoes by calling 661-942-2917. The lower the mosquito population, the lower the likelihood for disease transmission.
West Nile virus is endemic to the Antelope Valley and is currently established in the local Culex mosquito population. West Nile virus is the most prevalent and serious mosquito-borne disease in California. There is no human vaccine for West Nile virus, a disease which can cause debilitating cases of meningitis, encephalitis, and even death.
AVMVCD personnel are continuing mosquito surveillance and control efforts, but they say the public also plays a critical role in helping to control the spread of mosquitoes. The District urges residents to do their part to protect themselves from mosquito bites by following these recommendations:
- Wear insect repellent that contains one of these main ingredients: DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to exposed skin (as directed on the product label).
- Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are active, weather permitting.
- 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.
- Eliminate all possible sources of standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs, such as buckets, tires, toys, and plant saucers. Scrubbing the insides of the containers is also recommended, as this will dislodge eggs that are stuck to the container.
- Check your 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.
- Change indoor plant water (i.e. Bamboo and Philodendron) as necessary to avoid mosquito breeding.
To stay up-to-date on any mosquito-related information, visit: www.avmosquito.org. For further questions or services, call the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District at 661-942-2917.
[Information via news release from the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District.]