Sunny skies and warm weather are here, with the first day of summer just a few weeks away. It’s good news for campers and beachgoers. But, it’s also good news for some pesky Central and South Coast residents, in the form of mosquitoes. Mosquito season has arrived.
Ron Ventura is a supervisor with the Ventura County Environmental Health Division’s Vector Control Program. Ventura says there’s concern about native mosquitoes which can transmit West Nile Virus.
Most people bitten by infected mosquitoes never develop symptoms. But, for a few, it can create a number of flulike problems which can be serious, or even deadly. West Nile has caused a number of deaths on the Central and South Coasts over the last few years.
Ventura County has a major monitoring program for the disease which includes the testing of mosquitoes, and tests of dead birds which could potentially be carrying the disease.
Ventura says concern is also high about two non-native types of mosquitoes which have been found in other parts of the state, but not yet on the Central and South Coasts. They can transmit Zika, which can be devastating for the unborn babies of pregnant women who are bitten. So, vector control officials through the region are urging you to check you yards now for puddles, ponds, and buckets of water which could serve as mosquito breeding sites. And, if you see something nearby, you’re urged to report it.
In Ventura County alone, teams are monitoring, and treating some 2400 sites.
Ventura says aside from the big steps, like eliminating pools of water, you should make sure you take common sense measures like using protective spray or lotion, and wearing long sleeved shirts and pants in mosquito prone areas.
Depending on the weather, mosquitoes could be an issue for at least the next three or four months. Part of the problem is mosquitoes can be very hardy. Their eggs can survive for months in bone dry weather, yet as little as a teaspoon of water can provide the habitat for them to hatch.