At San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District, this month marks the beginning of tedious battle with the mosquito. Disease-carrying vectors, mosquitoes have caused 14 human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in San Joaquin County for 2018. Aaron Devencenzi, Public Information Officer at the District, says that while they utilize Integrated Pest Management to combat these bugs, the public can help control mosquito populations, too.
“It’s mainly yards that these mosquitos come from,” says Aaron. “We encourage people to get rid of any standing water on their properties, keep the weeds down in their ponds, and to call the district if they are bitten by a daytime biting mosquito so we can start surveillance.”
Surveillance is the first step. If spotted, mosquitoes are trapped and tested to determine how the District should proceed with their control methods, ranging from biological control, to physical control, to chemical control.
Out at the White Slough Mosquitofish Rearing Facility, one of the District’s defenses against mosquitos are cultivated daily. “We have 13 ponds producing about 3000-3500 pounds of mosquito fish a year,” explains Aaron. “These fish can consume anywhere between 100 to 150 mosquito larvae per day. You can use them in animal troughs, neglected swimming pools, or fish ponds, and we provide them to the public for free.”
With the San Joaquin Delta in our backyards, this county presents a unique challenge for controlling mosquitos. Don’t be too worried though; usually, you’ll have a few itchy bites. But your chances of developing the fatal form of WNV are slim. “Approximately 80 percent of people exposed to WNV will not develop any symptoms at all,” states Aaron. “Up to 20 percent of people can develop symptoms like the flu.” Just under one percent of people develop more severe symptoms including headache, paralysis, and death.
Don’t let it frighten you out of having summer fun, though. Take the recommended precautions and enjoy yourself. Call the San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District if you have any concerns.
For More Information:
San Joaquin County Mosquito & Vector Control District
7759 S. Airport Way, Stockton
- When camping, fishing, or outside at dusk or dawn, wear at least two layers of protective clothing.
- Ensure your windows and doors are in good condition to keep mosquitos out.
- Wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to label instructions.
- Eliminate or drain all sources of standing water on your property including buckets, tires, bird baths, and pet bowls. Keep swimming pools maintained.