Two Additional Samples of Invasive Aedes Mosquitoes Found in Palmdale, CA
Lancaster, CA – The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District has detected an invasive mosquito in two more areas in Palmdale, CA. One sample was collected near 25 th Street East and Avenue R-8 and one was collected near 10 th Street West and Destination 0-8. District entomologist, Karen Mellor, identified the samples collected as Aedes aegypti. This type of mosquito was first discovered in the Antelope Valley in October of 2018, but has now been found in two areas of Lancaster and a total of three times in Palmdale during the 2019 mosquito season.
“These invasive mosquitoes are becoming more prevalent throughout the Antelope Valley and the District urges the community to follow the guidelines provided below to help eliminate the spread of this mosquito,” said District Manager Cei Kratz.
Aedes mosquitoes are small (about 1⁄4 inch), black and white, and feed almost exclusively on humans, biting aggressively all day long. These habits are different from our native Culex mosquitoes that bite in the cooler times like the morning and the evening.
Female Aedes 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. 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. 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 urges residents to do their part to protect themselves by following these recommendations:
Clean up clutter in the yard. Invasive Aedes are ‘container breeders’ and will lay their eggs in toys, discarded tires, bird baths, potted plants, soda cans and even trash. Be sure window and door screens are in good repair to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. 2 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) Wear EPA registered insect repellents with ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 to exposed skin (as directed by the product label) when mosquitoes are present. Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are most active.
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).