Yellow fever mosquito found in Tulare County
Invasive yellow mosquitoes found in the city of Tulare; mosquito can transmit several human diseases
TULARE – Residents in Tulare County should make themselves aware that the threat of yellow fever mosquitoes lives in Tulare County. Last week the Tulare Mosquito Abatement District identified the yellow fever mosquito, in the city of Tulare. This mosquito is capable of transmitting several human diseases, including dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika. This mosquito is not native to California and is the first detection in the City of Tulare. Since 2013 Aedes aegypti has been detected in 13 California counties.
The Tulare Mosquito Abatement District is working with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in addition to the Tulare County Public Health Department to evaluate the extent of the infestation and will aggressively target problem areas to prevent its spread. These efforts will include door-to-door inspections of residential properties for standing water where mosquitoes can breed, increased surveillance through trapping, eliminating mosquito breeding sources, larval control, and ultra low volume fogging as necessary to target the invasive mosquitoes. Fogging will begin immediately in the infestation area.
While these viruses are not currently transmitted in California, they are periodically introduced by international travelers including Mexico. If a large population of Aedes aegypti is established in the area, a single travel associated case of one of these diseases could introduce the virus to local mosquitoes and Tulare County residents could be at risk of becoming infected. “Our goal is to mitigate the spread of these invasive mosquitoes to other areas of Tulare or the county at large. Having Aedes aegypti in our District is very concerning as it is an efficient vector in spreading Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses,” said John Avila, General Manager of the Tulare Mosquito Abatement District.
Aedes aegypti is a small (approx. ¼ inch), black and white day-biting mosquito that prefers to feed on humans. It lives in urban habitats, lays its eggs just above the water surface in small containers such as flower pots, plant saucers, pet bowls, and bird baths. Please inspect your property and immediately discard any standing water. If you live in an urban residential area and are being bitten by mosquitoes during the day you are encouraged to contact the Tulare Mosquito Abatement District.
Residents can reduce chances of being bitten by Aedes aegypti or other mosquitoes by taking the following precautions:
- Drain standing water. Mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in stagnant water
- Defend yourself against mosquitoes using repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
- Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically Dawn and Dusk.
- Report neglected swimming pools to the District. Anonymous calls are always accepted.
To report mosquito-breeding problem areas and request service, Tulare residents should contact Tulare Mosquito Abatement District at (559) 686-6628. There is no charge for inspections or services.
Additional information on Aedes aegypti can be found at the California Department of Public Health web page.