Don’t Invite Mosquitoes to Your House for Dinner!
AUGUST 2014 - If you’ve spent any time out of doors in the evening lately, you are most likely well aware that this is mosquito season and they are looking for a good meal - YOU. It is time to recheck the outdoor space around you to ensure there are no breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Empty any stagnant water from seemingly innocent places such as buckets, containers, neglected pools, ponds, puddles and flower pots.
Why is this important, you ask? Mosquitoes can be more than just an itchy nuisance. One type of mosquito, the Asian Tiger Mosquito, is a carrier of West Nile Virus (WNV). In recent days this type of mosquito has been found as close as the City of Walnut! To try to stop the spread of this mosquito, the County of L.A. will apply a truck-mounted mosquito control treatment that kills mosquito larvae in El Monte, Rosemead and Temple City. Let’s make sure Alhambra doesn’t become a nursery for mosquitoes, especially the Asian Tiger Mosquito, by getting rid of any stagnant water, a mosquito’s favorite breeding ground!
WNV is a debilitating disease that causes high fever, joint and muscle pain and can last up to several months. At this time there is no vaccine or cure. The Asian Tiger Mosquito can pick up WNV from infected birds and then when the mosquito bites again, it can transmit WNV to other birds and to humans. The Asian Tiger Mosquito is approximately ¼ inch long, has black and white stripes across its body and legs and is an aggressive, day-time biting mosquito. Your best defenses to being bitten by mosquitos in general include using insect repellants, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding the outdoors when the mosquitoes are most active (between dusk and dawn) and making sure that there are screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.
Of course, the best thing you can do is not provide a hospitable environment for the mosquito by cleaning up areas that attract them, such as standing water and soggy leaves and debris in rain gutters and streets. Bird baths and small fountains can also attract mosquitoes, so if you have one in your yard, be sure to empty and clean it thoroughly every three days. Mosquito eggs hatch and mature into biting adults in as little as five days! Standing water and dead birds should be reported to the WNV Hotline – (877) WNV-BIRD / (877) 968-2473) or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
If you see an Asian Tiger Mosquito, report it to the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District immediately at (626) 337-5686 or www.SGVmosquito.org. While there is currently no indication that these mosquitoes are infected, they are capable of transmitting WNV.
For more information about the Asian Tiger Mosquito and WNV contact the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District’s Public Information Officer, Jason Farned, at (626) 337-5686 or visit www.SGVmosquito.org.