Environment

Two More Invasive Mosquitoes Found, Public Urged to Prevent Breeding Grounds

County vector control officials are setting traps and again urging people to empty standing water inside and outside their homes to keep mosquitoes from breeding after finding two more invasive mosquitoes this week.

County officials confirmed the discovery of two more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, also known as yellow fever mosquitoes, in Chula Vista after receiving a phone call from a resident who said he was being bitten by small, black, white-striped mosquitoes during the day inside his home. The mosquitoes were found inside the man’s home.

The County reported Tuesday that four of these tiny mosquitoes — which differ from native mosquitoes in that they are aggressive feeders that like to bite during the day and to live in urban areas, including indoors — had been found recently at Naval Base San Diego.

The tropical diseases that the mosquito is best known for carrying are rarely seen here: yellow fever, chikungunya and dengue fever. There have been no cases of yellow fever in recent memory, two cases of chikungunya this year and roughly a dozen cases of dengue fever in both 2012 and 2013 brought in by returning travelers.

Nevertheless, environmental and public health officials are working to keep the mosquito from becoming established here because it can transmit those and other diseases. The mosquito, which is commonly found on the East Coast, started appearing in California in 2013.

Elizabeth Pozzebon, director of the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health, repeated the call she made earlier this week, asking the public to help.

“We’re asking people to look for, and to eliminate or report any standing water that could be mosquito-breeding grounds,” Pozzebon said, “Not only outside their homes, but inside as well, because these small mosquitoes like to breed indoors.”

County vector control teams were setting traps in the area of the Chula Vista home to determine if there are more mosquitoes. They were also delivering fliers to residents in surrounding neighborhoods telling them about the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and urging them to follow the general “Prevent, Protect Report” mosquito-fighting message they have used for the County’s “Fight the Bite” West Nile virus campaign.

Prevent Mosquito Breeding: Dump out or remove any backyard or indoor item that can hold water, such as plant saucers, rain gutters, buckets, garbage cans, toys, old tires, and wheelbarrows. Mosquito fish, available for free, may be used to control mosquito breeding in backyard water sources such as unused swimming pools, ponds, fountains and horse troughs.

Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites: Protect yourself from mosquito bites that can transmit disease. Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors. Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 when outside. Make sure screens on windows and doors are in good condition and secured to keep insects out.

Report Green Swimming Pools and Mosquitoes Biting During the Day Indoors: Report incidents of neglected swimming pools or areas of standing water that could be mosquito breeding areas — and mosquitoes biting indoors during daylight hours — to the Vector Control Program at (858) 694-2888 or vector@sdcounty.ca.gov.

For more information about County Vector Control, go to the program’s website.

 

 

 

Gig Conaughton is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact