VISALIA, California (KSEE) – A dangerous and invasive mosquito is quickly growing in numbers in the Visalia area.
The Delta Mosquito and Vector Control District conduct 272 mosquito trappings a week, tracking the numbers and locations of different types of mosquitoes. The Aedes aegypti, or Yellow Fever Mosquito, is a dangerous species from the other side of the world – and it is now present in and around Visalia.
Delta Mosquito and Vector Control District’s Dr. Mustapha Debboun says this breed has been establishing itself since 2019
“It’s a very difficult mosquito to manage because it lives with us in our homes, backyard, front yard,” said Dr. Mustapha Debboun. “It finds people right away when it comes out for a blood meal. And also what’s unique about Aedes aegypti is it doesn’t bite only one time. It bites multiple times. If there were four or five of us in an area, we would all get bit by one female mosquito.”
Not only does it bite multiple times, but it may also be out all day rather than dusk and dawn. This makes the potential to spread disease much greater. These mosquitoes have also grown tolerant of common insecticides.
“The fact that it is so difficult to manage we have to look for new, whether new insecticides or equipment or new novel techniques.”
All of which will cost more money.
The Delta Mosquito and Vector Control District presented that concern to the Visalia City Council, urging the public to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes may breed.
District assistant manager Mir Bear-Johnson says the mosquito fish will eat several times their own weight.
“Every spring we have a lot of requests for free mosquitofish. We would like to be able to provide them. Unfortunately, getting them at the start of the season is really time-consuming and difficult to do.”
Debboun says eliminating standing water is the cheapest, safest, and most effective tool.
“It loves to breed in man-made containers and imagine in a front yard or back yard if people don’t remove containers or dump water it will breed in there.”