Aedes Aegypti found in Madera Ranchos, Parkwood areas

-- Madera County Public Health DepartmentJuly 12, 2013 

According to the Madera Mosquito and Vector Control District, the Aedes Aegypti has been found in traps in Madera Ranchos and Parkwood areas in Madera County. Madera Ranchos is approximately halfway between Madera and Clovis. A few weeks ago, the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) was identified in a several block area on the west side of the city of Madera. This aggressive day-biting mosquito is not native to California; however, it is a common mosquito in urban areas of the southeastern United States.

The Madera County Mosquito and Vector Control District is working with the California Department of Public Health and the Madera County Department of Health to evaluate the extent of the infestation and will aggressively target problem areas to prevent its spread.

“Our goal is to eradicate this population,” said Leonard Irby, the district’s manager. “We definitely do not want this mosquito to become established in our communities.”

The district continues to expand the search by going door-to-door in surrounding neighborhoods to undertake control measures including education, source reduction, larval control, and local ground-based adulticiding (fogging) as necessary to target adult mosquitoes. Fogging will begin immediately in the infestation area.

Unlike our most common mosquito species in Madera, this tiny (approximately 1/4 inch) distinctive black and white mosquito is a very aggressive day-biter. While they may be active around dusk and dawn, it is their day-biting habits that are most characteristic. Aedes aegypti is an efficient vector (transmitter) of dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and several viruses that cause encephalitis.

Although the results for testing on the sample of Aedes Aegypti found in traps are negative for dengue or yellow fever, the public is urged to take precaution by preventing mosquito bites.

“At this time, there is no need to consider vaccination for yellow fever, unless you plan to travel in an endemic area. Everyone should practice diligent mosquito control, because some mosquitoes are vectors for other serious diseases such as West Nile Virus which is endemic to the San Joaquin Valley,” urged Dr. Thomas Cole, health officer for Madera County.

Residents experiencing mosquito bites during the day are urged to report them to the Mosquito and Vector Control District.

“We need the public’s help on this one,” Irby said. “Everyone can do something.”

Here are some mosquito control tips:

Check your yard weekly for water-filled containers.

Throw away or recycle water-holding containers that are not needed.

If empty containers or large objects, such as boats or old appliances must be stored, they should be covered, turned over or placed under a roof that does not allow them to fill with water.

Clean and scrub bird baths and pet-watering dishes weekly and dump the water from overflow dishes under potted plants and flower pots. Check that gutters are not holding water and cover rain barrels with tight screening so that mosquitoes cannot enter.

Fill tree holes and other cavities in plants with sand or soil.

Check for hidden bodies of water such as wells, septic tanks, manholes and clogged drains.

Call the Mosquito & Vector Control District when you detect unusual numbers of mosquitoes.

Avoid mosquito bites. Use personal protection to avoid mosquito bites. Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dusk and dawn. Apply repellents such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 only to exposed skin and/or clothing (as directed on the product label). Do not use repellents under clothing. In addition to wearing repellent, you can protect yourself and your family by using mosquito netting over infant carriers, cribs and strollers, and installing or repairing window and door screens to keep out mosquitoes.

Details: www.maderamosq.org. Residents are urged to call or use the “Services Requests” link to report possible sightings.

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