As the temperatures increase, so do the number of mosquitoes which are responsible for spreading diseases such as West Nile Virus and Saint Louis encephalitis virus. The Turlock Mosquito Abatement District – which includes Ceres – reminds residents to take steps to prevent mosquitoes and mosquito‐borne diseases.
During 2020, mosquitoes were responsible for causing 231 human cases and 20 horse cases of West Nile Virus in California. In Stanislaus County, there were 36 human WNV cases along with three horse cases during 2020. There was also one human case of St. Louis encephalitis virus.
The district urges residents to “Dump and Drain” standing water around their properties.
“Preventing opportunities for mosquitoes to breed around your home can help protect you and your family,” said David Heft, general manager for Turlock Mosquito Abatement District.
Residents are urged to look around their property and dump and drain any items with standing water that may allow mosquitoes to breed. In cases of larger amounts of standing water such as neglected swimming pools, ponds, water troughs, or ornamental ponds, the district encourages residents to place mosquitofish in them. Residents may contact the Turlock or Eastside Mosquito Abatement Offices to arrange for mosquitofish pickup or delivery.
In addition to the regular mosquito population, a new invasive species (Aedes aegypti) arrived in 2019 and has spread rapidly throughout California. The district has made several new finds in Stanislaus County during 2020. Aedes aegypti are a daytime biting mosquito and are often associated with breeding around small sources near home, such as flower pots, pet bowls, bird baths, buckets, etc. Dump and drain water from any sources to prevent breeding. Scrub outdoor pet bowls every two to three days to remove eggs which are often placed on the side of their bowls.
Follow these tips to prevent the spread of mosquitoes and mosquito‐borne viruses:
• Apply insect repellent containing EPA‐registered active ingredients, including DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535, according to label instructions. Repellents keep mosquitoes from biting;
• Avoid spending time outdoors when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk;
• Install screens on windows and doors and keep them in good repair;
• Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including in flowerpots, old tires, buckets, pet dishes and trash cans;
• Repair leaking faucets and broken sprinklers;
• Clean rain gutters clogged with leaves
• Report neglected swimming pools to the Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at turlockmosquito.org or call (209) 634‐1234.