While no West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitos have been found this year in the Santa Clarita Valley, the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District reminds residents that the mosquito season is not over yet.
As we enter the cooler fall months, ongoing mosquito activity continues to plague residents and brings the risk of additional WNV human infections.
West Nile Virus Update: The District continues to detect West Nile virus in mosquitoes collected from additional communities within its service area.
This year to date, 49 WNV-positive mosquito samples have been collected, compared to 309 from the same time period last year.
No WNV-positive mosquitos have been found in the Santa Clarita Valley so far this year.
While this is good news overall, human cases continue to be reported. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has reported 28 human infections this year, and that number is expected to continue to increase.
The latest WNV statistics can be found at:
www.GLACVCD.org and http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/WNVData.htm.
West Nile virus is transmitted by our native Culex mosquitoes that are most active and bite between dusk and dawn. Residents are urged to use EPA registered repellents when spending time outdoors in the early morning and evening hours to prevent mosquito bites and WNV illness.
Invasive Aedes Mosquito Update:
New populations of invasive Aedes continue to be detected in more San Fernando Valley communities as population levels of these aggressive day-biting mosquitoes spread and reach their seasonal peak. An interactive map of the current Aedes infestation can be found [here].
While the District continues to respond to record numbers of calls for help, residents frustrated by increased mosquito activity are encouraged to search around their homes for even the smallest amount of standing water and remove it immediately.
Invasive Aedes mosquitoes do not fly far from the standing water source (typically ~200 meters) they emerged from. If the water is found and removed, the biting pressure will decrease significantly. The use of repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535 will prevent bites.
Not all repellents are effective against mosquitoes. The public is encouraged to read about, and select those products that are both effective, and appropriate for their situation. For a comprehensive look at repellents, please visit: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Dont-Give-Bugs-a-Biting-Chance.aspx
“What we are dealing with now, is, unfortunately, the ‘new normal’ for southern California,” said Kelly Middleton, director of Community Affairs.
“These are the same mosquitoes that make the summers miserable in the southeast U.S.,” Middleton said. “There is no ‘magic bullet’ to get rid of them, and control is extremely difficult unless everyone works together to remove standing water from around homes, schools, businesses, and public areas.”
The removal of containers and trash that are collecting water, and likely covered with tiny mosquito eggs, is the only sustainable approach. The public is encouraged to spend a few minutes every weekend searching for and removing water-holding containers from their environment. A comprehensive guide to mosquito control can be found [here].
The District works year-round to actively search for and manage water-holding areas such as gutters, ditches, above- and below-ground storm drain channels, basins, and non-functional pools and ponds, but there are many more mosquito breeding sites on private property that require the public’s attention.
The District cannot do this alone. Water-holding containers on private property must be emptied to prevent mosquito reproduction.
For more information, residents can contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District at 562-944-9656 or online at www.glacvcd.org.