The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District(MSMVCD) is asking residents to help in the detection of exotic and invasive mosquitoes in Marin and Sonoma counties, and to reduce mosquito production sites on their properties. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are both non-native mosquito species present in numerous cities in California that are capable of transmitting not only Zika virus but the viruses that cause dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.
Unlike most mosquito species native to Marin and Sonoma counties these mosquitoes are aggressive indoor or outdoor day-time biters that attack their victims from behind, typically biting ankles and elbows. Both species are small black mosquitoes with bright white stripes on their back and legs. They prefer to lay their eggs in urban settings, specifically in artificial containers such as on the rims of potted plants and other small containers containing water with organic material.
"While the risk of Zika virus being locally transmitted in Marin and Sonoma counties is currently extremely low, residents still need to employ personal protection measures and continue to reduce artificial mosquito production sites on their properties, such as standing water in containers," stated Nizza Sequeira, Public Relations Director for the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District. "When travelling to areas where Zika virus is active, personal protection measures should be a top priority," stated Sequeira.
For the past few years, MSMVCD has actively been conducting surveillance for these invasive mosquitoes in the adult and larval stages. To date, neitherAedes aegypti no Aedes albopictus have been detected in Marin or Sonoma counties.
Residents can be of significant assistance by reducing artificial mosquito production sites around their properties and reporting mosquito problems immediately to 707-285-2200 or online www.msmosquito.com.
Ways to help reduce risk of mosquito-borne diseases and detect invasive mosquitoes:
- Report aggressive day-time biting mosquitoes to MSMVCD at 707-285-2200 or online at www.msmosquito.com.
- Inspect rain barrels and other containers on a regular basis to be sure there are no cracks or leaks and that all seals and fittings remain intact.
- Cover rain barrels and other containers with a mosquito-proof screen (fine mesh-1/16 of an inch).
- Check septic tank lids to ensure a tight seal, repair cracks and screen vent pipes using a fine mesh screen (1/16 of an inch).
- Properly use mosquito repellents containing DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (always read the label carefully). For more information regarding repellents visit the CDC website.
- Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves and long pants.
- More information regarding invasive mosquitoes and Zika virus can be found at the California Department of Public Health's website.