All Californians play an important role in protecting the public health of their community and should take simple steps to reduce the risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases in their neighborhood. To raise awareness and educate Californians about the public health threat mosquitoes pose to our communities, the California Legislature declared April 21-27, 2019 as Mosquito Awareness Week. #MOSQUITOWEEK
Mosquitoes are the most dangerous creature in the world! Mosquitoes kill nearly 725,000 people a year because they can transmit deadly viruses like Malaria, West Nile virus, and dengue with just a bite. Protect yourself and your community by preventing mosquito breeding in your home.
Weeks of Rain and Warm Temperatures Start Mosquito Season
The past winter months brought weeks of rain to drought-stricken Southern California, and our warming temperatures now increase the potential for an early mosquito season. Eliminate any standing water left around your property, especially in small containers such as pot saucers, children’s toys, recyclables, buckets, and old tires. Additionally, use any water collected in rain barrels within 7 days or ensure all openings are correctly screened and sealed. Lastly, clean any unmaintained pools that may have collected rain water. Green, unmaintained pools are perfect breeding sources for our native Culex mosquito known to transmit West Nile virus.
Tip and Toss is the best and most natural mosquito control method. Eliminating sources early in the year will help decrease mosquito populations in your community. Take action today by tipping out any stagnant water on your property to prevent mosquitoes and disease risk as temperatures warm.
The Insects that Bug Us the Most and Diseases They Can Spread
Los Angeles County is home to Culex mosquitoes which primarily live and breed in larger containers and sources such as pools, ponds and gutters with standing water. While these mosquitoes primarily feed on birds, they occasionally feed on people and can transmit diseases like West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis.
Within the past few years, the invasive Aedes mosquito has taken over Los Angeles County. These black-and-white striped “ankle-bitters” bite during the day and thrive in small containers with standing water. Studies have shown that Aedes mosquito eggs can lay dormant for years creating a huge risk for LA County following weeks of rainfall which will trigger many of these eggs to hatch. Aedes mosquitoes bite people and are capable of transmitting viruses like Zika, yellow fever, dengue fever, and chikungunya if these viruses are introduced by infected travelers.
Repel, Don’t Swell
Remember to wear insect repellent to protect your health. The CDC recommends using repellents with active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. It’s extremely important to wear insect repellent when you travel abroad as well, especially when visiting sub-tropical and tropical regions. Avoid scratching mosquito bites, this can lead to a potentially serious bacterial infection.
Join public health agencies and vector control agencies across the state for #MosquitoWeek by sharing these important tips to protect public health and prevent mosquito-transmitted diseases this year. Copy and paste any of the images on this page, share with your networks, or follow us on social media!