Rain prompts early mosquito season

Vector ecologist Gimena Ruedas sets a mosquito trap. COURTESY OF LEVY SUN, SAN GABRIEL VALLEY MOSQUITO & VECTOR CONTROL DISTRICT
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Recent rainfall has provided relief to the drought-thirsty region of Southern California, but vector control officials say it has also created havens for disease-spreading mosquitoes in local yards.

Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District officials said in a news release last week that L.A. County residents should take extra precautions with green, unmaintained pools, rain barrels and other small containers that have collected rain water in recent weeks.

“Since mosquitoes can complete their life cycles from egg to adult in about a week, collected water should be emptied or used within the week, rain barrels and containers must be tightly sealed to prevent mosquito entry, and green, unmaintained pools should be cleaned,” the release stated. Other common items that collect rainwater include plant saucers, buckets, tires, pet water bowls, recycling bins, trash cans and even trash hidden in nearby bushes.

As a result, officials recommended residents find and remove all unused containers from around the home that may collect water and contribute to mosquito problems.

If residents need to store water in rain barrels, buckets, and other similar containers longer than a week, these steps should be taken to ensure they are mosquito-proof, officials said.

  • Cover all water-filled containers with tightly fitting lids.
  • Screen all openings such as downspouts from the roof gutters with a 1/16 inch fine mesh to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Check for holes in screens monthly to prevent mosquitoes from entering the container and laying hundreds of eggs.
  • Use and maintain natural mosquito control products containing Bti in water that must be kept for longer periods.

“Mosquito eggs only need a teaspoon of water to complete their life cycle,” said Anais Medina Diaz, public information officer at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. “By eliminating mosquito breeding sources in your home today, you can protect your family’s health as temperatures warm up in Southern California.”

For more information or to anonymously report green, unmaintained pools, visit the district’s website at glacvcd.org.

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