By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– On June 16, 2016, the Division of Environmental Health Services (DEHS), Mosquito and Vector Control Program (MVCP) discovered an Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) in the city of Colton. This specimen was confirmed by the state Department of Public Health. In October 2015, an Aedes aegypti was found in the city of Colton. To date these are the only two Aedes aegypti found in the MVCP area.
The Yellow fever mosquito bites primarily during the day, both indoors and outdoors. The adults are small (about a quarter-inch in size), dark brown or black, and have distinctive white markings around the body and legs. This species of mosquito is not native to California, but are found elsewhere in the U.S. and in many other regions of the world (the yellow fever mosquito prefers tropical and subtropical areas).
The Yellow fever mosquito has the potential to transmit several viral diseases including dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and zika, although the risk of transmission in California is low.
At the beginning of the 2015 season, the MVCP established a Day-Biting Mosquito Surveillance Program in anticipation of the arrival of invasive Aedes mosquitoes to the County. Specialized traps are placed in target areas to monitor changes in mosquito populations and to collect mosquitoes for disease testing.
Artificial or natural water-filled containers that are within or around the home are ideal habitats for these mosquitoes. Female mosquitoes can lay eggs in any container holding as little as a teaspoon of water– plant saucers, cups, bird baths, old tires. Eggs have the ability to dry out and survive for several months. San Bernardino County residents can help control these aggressive and highly invasive mosquitoes by taking the following precautions:
- Drain or Dump – Remove all standing water around your property where mosquitos lay eggs such as birdbaths, old tires, pet watering dishes, buckets, or even clogged gutters.
- Clean and scrub any container with stored water to remove possible eggs.
- Dress – Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeved shirts whenever you are outdoors to avoid mosquito bites.
- DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picardin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus according to manufacturer’s directions.
Doors – Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have rips or holes to prevent mosquitos from entering your home.
If you notice these small black and white mosquitoes in or around your home, or if you are being bitten during the day, please contact the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, DEHS MVCP at (800) 442-2283. For more information, you can call us or visit our website at www.sbcounty.gov/dph/dehs, or the CDPH website at http://bit.ly/1u35fQx .