It’s bad enough that Kings County has already reported its first human case of West Nile Virus this year. The mosquito-borne virus has alerted residents to watch for any standing water hazards around their properties. However, there’s more cause for concern. The Kings County Mosquito Abatement Authority has now reported that its first detection of Aedes aegypti has been captured in the county—three adult mosquitoes collected from the City of Corcoran. This mosquito is not native to California, but has established itself in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and throughout portions of Southern California.
And this is a bad one to have flying about. It’s a small, dark mosquito with white markings and white banded legs. It lives in close association to humans and is active during the day. This is an aggressive biter and capable of transmitting diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika. None of these viruses are currently circulating in California. “Because this mosquito prefers to breed in small containers, it is very difficult to control with traditional mosquito control techniques. The public’s help is going to be critical,” said Michael Cavanaugh, district manager of the mosquito abatement district. “Residents are encouraged to contact the district if they experience mosquitoes biting during the day and indoors.” By following these few steps residents can help prevent mosquito breeding on their properties and guard against mosquito-transmitted illnesses: –Prevent mosquito breeding by ensuring pools and spas are properly maintained and emptying all containers around the home that hold water; –Report mosquito bites received during the day; –Protect yourself against mosquito bites by using a repellent with an effective ingredient such as Deet, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus; –Prepare your home: make sure window screens and screen doors are in good repair. The mosquito abatement district is located at 1087 Bonney View Lane in Hanford, Call the district to report mosquitoes at 559-584-3326 or visit the district website at www.kingsmosquito.net. Free mosquito fish are available to the public between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the district office. Call the West Nile hotline to report dead birds at 1-877-968-2437.