Day biting mosquitoes capable of spreading yellow fever and deadly dengue disease have surfaced in Exeter in Tulare County and Arvin in Kern County according to officials at the Fresno Mosquito & Vector Control District.
One hundred and twenty traps were set up on Clovis Avenue between Belmont and Tulare avenues, the Fresno Bee reported. “We didn’t need a microscope to see them,” said district manager, Tim Phillips. “There were about 30.”
Moreover, mosquitoes in Fresno showed up about three miles from the Clovis avenue location. Last year, the day biting insects were found in the same place and evidently continued to spread this year.
Technically classified as Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, they live in hot, humid tropical areas, like the southeastern U.S., Mexico and Central and South America, according to the Bee. The Aedes aegypti, or “yellow fever mosquito,” targets humans and their dwellings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So far, spraying efforts have proven to be futile. “We don’t want this mosquito,” Phillips said, “but I don’t know if we’re going to stop it.” According to Yale researchers, mosquitoes travelled via planes or trains to get to California from the Southeast.
With the A. aegypti infestation spreading, mosquito control officials are looking for sources of breeding, which frequently develops in drainage pipes or flower pots. “Anything that can hold water is a potential source for the mosquitoes,” said Steve Mulligan, district manager for the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District.
Mulligan explained that with the arrival of day biting mosquitoes one needs protection at all times. “In the past, we always said protect yourself when you are outside between dusk till dawn,” he said. “Now we have to say the key is when you are out and you notice mosquitoes, use repellent whether it’s at day or night.”