The buzz around town is that in the past month the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District (OCMVCD) confirmed 26 new Aedes Mosquito infestation locations, including inside Newport Beach. Bites from these mosquitoes may look familiar to people who have spent time in the South, most often looking like “chigger” bites– but far more painful.
These non-native and aggressive day-biting mosquitoes are black and white, and they lay their eggs along the waterline of containers as small as a bottle cap. The mosquitoes known as Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito), Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito), and Aedes notoscriptus (Australian backyard mosquito) are capable of transmitting debilitating viruses including dengue, chikungunya, West Nile, yellow fever, and Zika.
Contrary to the most recent release from the Vector Control, at least some of these viruses ARE ABSOLUTELY currently transmitted locally, with one Balboa Peninsula resident receiving the West Nile Virus 3 years ago, about this time of year, on August 13– without ever leaving the area (if you are with the Media or Vector Control and need confirmation details, please contact me). These mosquitoes are also known to cause dog heartworm to dogs and cats.
Residents should take the following precautions to help reduce the chances of being bit by mosquitoes:
- Dump and drain any containers filled with water at least once a week
- Clean and scrub bird baths and pet water bowls weekly
- Dump water from potted plant saucers
- Do not transport or share plant stems rooted in water
- Drill a hole or puncture containers to eliminate standing water
If you are in an at-risk district, the District offers the following tips to prevent mosquito bites:
- Apply mosquito repellents to exposed skin before going outdoors; reapply as recommended
- Wear repellent containing DEET®, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
- Close all unscreened doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home or space; repair broken or damaged screens
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and opt for lighter-colored clothing
The invasive Aedes mosquitoes have been detected in the cities of Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, North Tustin, Orange, Placentia, Rossmoor, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Stanton, Tustin, and Yorba Linda.
In short: PLEASE DON’T LEAVE STANDING WATER AROUND