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News

BREAKING: Day-biting, disease-carrying mosquitoes buzz Ojai

8 06 21 web mosquitopic 

Photos and graphic by Centers for Disease Control 

 

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes like to bite people during the day. Their larvae can be seen wriggling in water. Their life cycle is described in the CDC graphic.

 

Their favorite food is people who they aggressively bite during the day, carry diseases, have wiggling larvae, can survive drying out for up to eight months and don't mind freezing weather.

They are a non-native, invasive mosquito, called Aedes aegypti, and they have just been found in Ojai.

8 6 21 web mosquito eggs

 

The black mosquitoes with white stripes on their back and legs were discovered when locals reported being bitten by mosquitoes during the day, which is unusual since the common mosquitoes Ojai Valley residents are used to mostly bite at night.

Detected since September in Oak View, Ventura, Fillmore, Piru, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Simi Valley and other communities in the state, this human-loving mosquito is now buzzing around Ojai.

According to the county Environmental Health Department, which issued a press release about the latest Ojai inhabitant: “This mosquito is capable of transmitting several viruses, including dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika. To date there has been no documented transmission of these diseases in California but due to the potential of these mosquitoes to transmit disease, as well

8 6 21 web lifelifecycle Aedes life cycle

as the presence of native mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus and other arboviruses, care should be taken to avoid being bitten by or providing breeding places for mosquitoes.”

Residents are advised to look around their yard and inside their home and dump out “even the smallest amount of standing water. Prevent runoff, which accumulates in drains and gutters by avoiding overwatering and excessive use of water for other purposes. Cover yard drains with permeable landscape cloth or tight mesh screen and keep outlets clear. Clean and scrub bird baths and pet watering dishes weekly and dump water from overflow dishes under potted plants.”

This must be done because the Aedes aegypti “lays its eggs just above the water line in small conveyances, containers, and vessels that hold water, such as yard drains, dishes under potted plants, birdbaths, ornamental fountains, tin cans, animal-watering containers or discarded tires.”

Environmental Health also advises residents to further reduce their chances of being bitten by ensuring windows and doors have tight-fitting screens; covering water stored in containers with tight-fitting lids or 1/16-inch fine-mesh screen, wearing long-sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes outside when mosquitoes are most active, and applying an insect repellent, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency: 

https://www.cdc.gov/mosquitoes/mosquito-bites/prevent-mosquito-bites.html

Residents who get bit by a mosquito during the day should report the bite to the county mosquito complaint hotline at 805-658-4310.

Environmental Health also urges: “If you are sick with fever, headache, and joint or muscle pain after returning from an area where dengue, chikungunya, or Zika occurs, contact your doctor and stay indoors as much as possible to avoid mosquito bites and help prevent possible spread of the virus."

Additional information on Aedes aegypti can be found at:

 https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Aedes-aegypti-and-Aedes-albopictus-mosquitoes.aspx 

and https://vcrma.org/invasive-aedes-mosquitoes

 

 

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