Invasive Aedes Mosquito Found in Palmdale, CA
Lancaster, CA – The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District has detected an invasive mosquito in a neighborhood in Palmdale. District entomologist, Karen Mellor, identified the sample collected near Avenue R-6 and 30th Street East as Aedes aegypti, also known as the Yellow Fever mosquito. This type of mosquito was first discovered in the Antelope Valley in October of 2018, and was found in two areas of Lancaster during this 2019 mosquito season. This is the first time it has surfaced in Palmdale.
The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District was alerted to this aggressive pest by a resident who had reported daytime-biting mosquitoes that generally targeted their ankles.
Technicians responded to the call and collected samples, which were then identified by the District Entomologist as Aedes aegypti.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are associated with human dwellings. They will actively pursue people, both during the day and during dawn and dusk. Aedes aegypti are known transmitters of diseases like Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and Zika virus. “The District has noticed an uptick in occurrences of this mosquito, and urges the community to follow the guidelines provided below to help eliminate the spread of this mosquito,” said District Manager Cei Kratz.
Invasive Aedes mosquitoes are small (about 1⁄4 inch), black and white, and feed almost exclusively on humans, biting aggressively all day long. Female mosquitoes will lay eggs in small containers, just above the water line. The eggs can dry up and survive for six or more months, waiting for the container to re-flood so they can hatch.
AVMVCD personnel have increased mosquito surveillance in the area and will continue to place traps that are designed to attract egg-laying Aedes mosquitoes. When the mosquitoes enter the trap, they are contaminated with larvicide. After they leave the trap, they spread this larvicide to several other containers around the trap. This targets larvae in small and hard to find breeding sources. The adult mosquito also gets infected with a mosquito-specific fungus that kills her before she can spread disease. In addition to increased surveillance efforts, residents in the surrounding area will be informed about this invasive mosquito and will be advised to do their part to eliminate this mosquito.
The public plays a critical role in helping to control the spread of this mosquito population. All possible sources of standing water where mosquitoes lay eggs such as buckets, tires, and plant saucers should be emptied of standing water. Scrubbing the insides of the containers is also recommended, as this can dislodge eggs deposited above the water line. The District also urges residents to do their part to protect themselves from mosquito bites by following these recommendations: -Wear EPA registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to exposed skin (as directed by the product label). -Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are most active. - Be sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. - Inspect yards for standing water sources and drain water that may have collected under potted plants, in bird baths, discarded tires, and any other items that could collect water. - Check your rain gutters and lawn drains to make sure they aren’t holding water and debris. - Clean and scrub bird baths and pet watering dishes weekly. -Check indoor plants that are kept in standing water for mosquito activity (i.e. Bamboo and Philodendron)
Report any day-time biting mosquitoes to the AVMVCD at 661-942-2917 To stay up-to-date on any mosquito related information check out our website at www.avmosquito.org, Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/avmosquito), and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AVMosquito. For any further questions or services please feel free to contact the Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District by phone (661-942-2917).