A report by the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District announced that a third invasive mosquito species, Aedes aegypti, has appeared in the San Gabriel Valley following reports of previous appearances throughout southern California.
The species is one of three invasive Aedes mosquito species along with Aedes albopictus and Aedes notoscriptus which have the potential to carry pathogens such as the notorious Zika virus. Unlike other mosquito species, invasive Aedes mosquitoes are typically active during the day and make their homes near humans by laying eggs in standing water located in items such as rain barrels, tires, and bromeliad plants. Their eggs may remain unhatched for months at a time until the environment reaches sufficient hatching conditions and can be difficult to eliminate.
So far, there have been no reports of the Zika virus detected inside an invasive Aedes mosquito, but Scientific Program Manager Dr. Wakoli Wekesa noted that transmission is possible within Los Angeles County since the mosquitoes may cause an outbreak if they draw blood from those infected with the Zika virus. Consequently, the SGVMVCD and other public health agencies are currently collaborating to try to determine how to manage the existence of invasive Aedes mosquitoes. Dr. Wekesa urges residents to take action in order to prevent their backyards from becoming “potential breeding sources.”
SGVMVCD has advised residents to perform the following precautions:
- Inspect your property regularly and remove any clutter or containers that may hold water.
- Scrub containers with a brush and hot, soapy water to destroy mosquito eggs.
- Remove bromeliads and other plants that collect and hold water from your landscape.
- If you collect rain water, make sure that all containers are tightly covered to keep mosquitoes out. Do not store water for any extended period of time.
- Wear mosquito repellent when spending time outdoors.
- Talk to your neighbors – share what you know.
The full report can be read here.