Mosquito and West Nile Virus Awareness Week

Warming temperatures combined with late spring rains create ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed, including the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus. To help spread the message about mosquito prevention, April 15-21, 2018 has been designated as Mosquito and West Nile Virus Awareness Week.

West Nile Virus is spread by mosquitoes that get the virus from infected birds. Mosquitoes infected with the virus can transfer it to humans and other animals. Humans infected with the virus may become very ill. The disease usually is most serious in children, people with weakened immune systems, and the elderly. In 2017, California reported 553 human cases of West Nile Virus, which included 44 fatalities.

Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites by following these tips:

  • Drain any container that holds standing water, use mosquito-eating fish, cover pools, or use a pesticide product containing a bacterium that kills mosquito larvae.
  • Use screens on doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Avoid being outside during dawn and dusk.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants socks/shoes and a hat.
  • Use an effective mosquito repellent such as one containing the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (also known as PMD or para-menthane-diol)

Read more about managing mosquitoes by visiting the UC IPM Mosquitoes web page.There you will find short videos, information in Spanish, and more resources on West Nile Virus and Zika.


By Anne Schellman
Author - UCCE Master Gardener Coordinator