The California State Legislature has declared the week of April 17-23, 2016 as West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week in California. This declaration coincides with the beginning of what appears to be a busy mosquito season for the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District.
Vector Control Technicians are responding to a record number of calls for service this year. District officials stated that requests for service are up 46% from last year at this same time. The increase in requests for service are likely due to a combination of unseasonably warm weather and an increase in standing water. Many areas that had been dry for the past several years due to the lack of rain are now holding water and creating mosquito issues," stated Nizza Sequeira, Public Relations Director for the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District. "These areas are prime real estate for mosquitoes that have eagerly taken up residence," said Sequeira.
In addition to implementing its Integrated Vector Management Program to control populations of the twenty three mosquito species currently present in Marin and Sonoma counties, the District will continue to conduct surveillance for invasive mosquitoes that can transmit Zika and other viruses. To date, no invasive mosquito species have been detected in Marin and Sonoma counties.
Residents are encouraged to join the fight against mosquitoes by reducing mosquito production on their own properties:
- Cover rain barrels and other containers with a mosquito-proof screen (fine mesh-1/16 of an inch).
- Report dead birds to the West Nile Virus Hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD or online.
- Check septic tank lids to ensure a tight seal and repair any visible cracks.
- Recycle old tires or store in a sheltered area, away from the rain.
- Inspect areas around your property for containers holding water and dump or drain.
- Report mosquito problems, neglected pools, or any area that may be producing mosquitoes.
- Stock ponds with mosquitofish (available on May 16).