Author: Karey Windbiel-Rojas
The continued warm weather in our area means that mosquitoes are still active. So far this year, 361 cases of the mosquito-borne illness West Nile Virus (WNV) have been reported* in 23 California counties, including Yolo (4 human cases) and Sacramento (1 human case). Sadly, 18 of these 361 cases resulted in death.
It is important to protect yourself and your family from getting bit by mosquitoes. West Nile Virus is most serious in children, people with weakened immune systems, and the elderly.
When outside for prolonged periods during dawn or dusk, be sure to wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks, and a hat. Use insect repellents that contain DEET, picardin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus and reapply according to the label instructions.
Mosquitoes that can transmit WNV breed in aquatic environments like ponds or other sources of stagnant water such as roof gutters, bird baths, and swimming pools.
You can reduce mosquito habitat in your landscape by:
Cleaning rain gutters and downspouts to remove debris.
Sealing rain barrels. Keep all filters clean and free of moisture-retaining debris and inspect regularly for leaks.
Maintaining quality in swimming pools with chemical treatments. Cover or drain water from plastic pools when not in use. Report neglected pools to your local Mosquito & Vector Control or Abatement District.
Turning over any unused garden pots, children's toys, and other objects so they don't hold water.