The warm summer months increased mosquito and West Nile virus (WNV) activity in our neighborhoods, but the biting isn’t over just yet. Patios and backyards are the #1 source of mosquito problems. By eliminating sources in your yard and inside your home, residents can help decrease mosquito populations in your community. Take action today by tipping out any stagnant water on your property to prevent mosquitoes and reduce disease risk.
The Insects that Bug Us the Most
Los Angeles County is home to Culex mosquitoes, which primarily live and breed in larger containers and sources such as green pools, ponds and gutters with standing water. While these mosquitoes primarily feed on birds, they occasionally feed on people and can transmit diseases like West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis. One in five people bitten by an infected mosquito will show mild West Nile virus symptoms which can range from a headache, rash and cold-like symptoms. People over 50 and those with compromised immune system can be at risk to more severe symptoms like meningitis, paralysis and even death.
Additionally, this summer we saw an increase in invasive Aedes mosquitoes throughout Los Angeles County. These black-and-white striped “ankle-bitters” bite during the day and thrive in small containers with standing water. Studies have shown that Aedes mosquito eggs can lay dormant for years creating a huge risk for LA because they prefer to bite people and can transmit viruses like Zika, yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya.
Tip and Toss is the most efficient and long-lasting mosquito control method. Small containers such as pot saucers, children’s toys, recyclables, buckets, vases, indoor plants, and old tires are common household mosquito sources. Additionally, drain or clean any unmaintained pools that may have collected rainwater, especially with the winter rains approaching.
Lastly, if you experience biting, remember to wear insect repellent to protect your health. The CDC recommends using repellents with active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. To learn more, visit www.glamosquito.org