Residents urged to take precautions against mosquito bites

Summer is here and the West Side Mosquito & Vector Control District would like to remind everyone that mosquitoes are active and present at this time. Spring showers and water recharge activities have made this a busy season for mosquito control efforts.
Mosquito surveillance and disease testing began in April and will continue through October.  To date, the District has submitted 98 mosquito samples to the California Department of Public Health for disease testing. Last week the District received confirmation of West Nile Virus for the first time this season. Three samples taken from the Kern Water Bank recharge ponds have been confirmed as positive for WNV. 

The potential for disease transmission exists when birds, mosquitoes, and humans are present in the same area. Female mosquitoes acquire viruses when they bite infected birds. Viruses are then transmitted to humans as female mosquitoes continue to seek blood meals to produce their eggs. If you think you have been infected with a mosquito-borne illness please seek proper diagnosis from a medical professional. More detailed information may be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (cdc.gov), or the California Department of Public Health website (cdph.ca.gov).

Individuals are advised to take some simple precautions when engaging in outdoor activities. Be aware that peak mosquito activity occurs during dawn and dusk. If you are outdoors in the early morning or evening wear proper clothing and repellent. Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Those in residential areas should make sure that doors and windows have tight fitting screens that are free of holes or tears. Avoid leaving doors and windows open during morning and evening hours. Following these practices can help reduce the risk of mosquito bites and disease transmission. 

District technicians are actively inspecting and treating mosquito breeding sources. Individuals can assist and protect themselves by eliminating sources of standing water. Please take a few minutes to inspect areas around your home for standing water. Please make sure pet watering containers, ponds, fountains, and pools are kept clean and maintained properly to eliminate mosquito larvae.

If you find a possible mosquito breeding source (standing water) or have adult mosquitoes around your home please call the District office at 661-763-3510. Office hours are 7:00am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday. Mosquito fish are also available for those who may have ponds, fountains, or water troughs.