SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – Amid an explosion of alien Aedes mosquitoes living in the south this summer and fall, Orange County is trying a new treatment to control the insects.
The OC Mosquito and Vector Control District used an A1 Super Duty larvicide sprayer to spray a mist containing an organic bacterium at Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana on Thursday.
“What we’re doing tonight is large-scale spraying of larvicides,” OCMVC’s Heather Hyland told CBSLA on Thursday.
Scientists hope the non-toxic larvicide will settle in outdoor vases where a newer breed of mosquito from Asia is thriving. The new breed is aggressive and also breeds indoors.
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“We have our native species, the culex, that comes out at dusk and dawn, and now we have the Aedes mosquito that bites out during the day,” said Hyland. “So we have our knuckle-biter, the Aedes mosquito, and our grill-biter, the Culex mosquito.”
The Culex can transmit the West Nile virus. While the Aedes do not carry WNV, they carry several other diseases.
“They (Aedes) carry diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, yellow fever and zika,” said Hyland.
While the mosquito season peaked in June, the numbers haven’t dropped as much as OCMVCD would like. Next week the district will spray in Buena Park, Anaheim and Garden Grove.
“I’ve noticed that they are a little more aggressive and I see a greater number of them in my back yard,” said Keith Sabala, a Santa Ana resident.
According to the latest figures, 261 samples in OC have tested positive for West Nile virus so far this year. Nine people were infected with WNV.