Mosquitoes capable of transmitting yellow fever and Zika have been discovered in both Ceres and Turlock, the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District reported.
The Aedes aegypti, also known as the yellow fever mosquito, are black and white with bright white stripes on the legs. They bite aggressively during the day, and feed almost exclusively on humans. Additionally, the larvae of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes require much less water. Females lay their eggs just above the water line in small containers and vessels that hold water, such as dishes, potted plants, bird baths, ornamental fountains, tin cans or discarded tires. The eggs can survive for up to eight months after the water dries out.
“This is a very challenging mosquito to control,” said David Heft, general manager at Turlock Mosquito Abatement District. “It prefers to live in hard‐to‐reach suburban environments and bite people. They require very little water to complete their life cycle and their eggs are capable of surviving for months on the insides of containers before they come in contact with water.”
This mosquito breed is an invasive and is not native to California. It was initially detected in Stanislaus County during 2019 in the cities of Newman and Modesto. Aedes aegypti has been detected in 16 other California counties to date.
The Turlock Mosquito Abatement District is assessing the extent of the Aedes aegypti populations locally and will be conducting surveillance via traps and property inspections. District staff will help residents identify ways to prevent mosquito breeding on their property. Based on surveillance results, the district will conduct larval control and ultra‐low volume adulticiding as necessary.
Aedes aegyptiis is capable of transmitting diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika. To date, these diseases have not been locally transmitted in California; however, they are periodically introduced by international travelers. If a large population of Aedes aegyptiis established in the area, a single travel‐associated case of one of these diseases could introduce the virus to local mosquitoes and Stanislaus County residents could beat risk of becoming infected.
Protect your home from Aedes mosquitoes breeding by:
· Dumping out standing water. Aedes aegypti lay their eggs in containers that may hold water.
· Do not leave water out for more than 5 days. Change water frequently in flower vases and pet bowls.
· Every week scrub out dog dishes into a trash can to remove eggs.
· Fill plant saucers with sand so pools of water do not collect.
· Remove any toys, buckets, containers or unused items from your yard that can fill with rain or sprinkler water.
Residents can reduce the chances of being bitten by Aedes aegypti or other mosquitoes by taking the following precautions:
· Use repellents with DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus on the label.
· Maintain screens on doors and windows; these mosquitoes can live and breed inside homes.
· Report mosquito activity to Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at 634-1234 or visit turlockmosquito.org.