Authorities on Tuesday announced the first discovery of an invasive mosquito in Yolo county, which prefers to bite people during the day and has the potential to transmit serious diseases, including Zika.
The adult female Aedes aegypti mosquito, better known as the yellow fever mosquito, was found in a trap near East Street and Main Street in winter, according to a press release from the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. Officials planned to set additional traps in the surrounding neighborhoods to assess the spread of the infestation.
“Finding this mosquito for the first time probably means it can potentially be established anywhere,” district manager Gary Goodman said in the press release. “We will continue to work diligently to find and identify places where these mosquitoes can breed.”
The district also planned to send field technicians to conduct door-to-door inspections to identify potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes, provide appropriate treatments if necessary, and speak with residents about preventive measures in their area.
The mosquito found in Yolo County also marked the first time this season that invasive mosquitoes were found within the boundaries of the district. In August 2019, invasive mosquitoes were first found in Citrus Heights and Antelope. But invasive mosquitoes have not been found anywhere in Sacramento County this season, district officials said.
Last month, the Sutter-Yuba Mosquito & Vector Control District reported the discovery of Aedes aegypti in Fallen in Yuba City.
These mosquitoes are now permanently established throughout the state and were recently found for the first time in Shasta counties, according to the Sacramento-Yolo district. In San Joaquin County, authorities discovered the species last year and found it again in July.
Mosquitoes of all breeds lay eggs over water in small containers like flower pots, pet dishes, bird baths, tin cans, tires, and other containers as small as a bottle cap commonly found in backyards.
Goodman asked residents to call the district for a free inspection if they are bitten during the day or if they notice more mosquitos in their yard. He also urged all residents to inspect their yards daily and drain all sources of standing water.
While aegypti can transmit a number of serious diseases, including Zika dengue fever and chikungunya, no known cases of diseases related to the pest have been linked to a mosquito bite in California.
The district planned to set up additional traps in the surrounding districts to assess the spread of the infestation.
Residents with mosquito bites during the day should call 800-429-1022 or request service at Fightthebite.net.
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Rosalio Ahumada writes the latest crime and public safety news for The Sacramento Bee. He is fluent in Spanish and has been a news reporter in the Central Valley since 2004.