JAMES GATHANY / DISEASE CONTROL CENTERS
A female Aedes aegypti takes a blood meal. This type of mosquito is native to Africa but was recently discovered in the Hope neighborhood of Santa Barbara.
A non-native species of mosquito called Aedes aegypti has arrived in Santa Barbara. But are you here to stay? Hopefully not.
Aedes Aegypti is known to transmit viruses like Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya, and even the virus that causes yellow fever. These viruses are not active in California.
Aedes Agypti is native to Africa but has been sighted in California since 2013.
“It’s something to watch out for. If we ever get a broadcast in California, it will be more worrying, ”said Brian Cabrera, general manager of the Mosquito and Vector Management District in Santa Barbara County.
A resident of the Hope neighborhood, near the intersection of N. La Cumbre Rd. And Foothill Rd., Noticed aggressive mosquitos. He remembered a report from Aedes Aegypti in Ventura County and wanted to see if his mosquitoes matched the description.
He picked one up and sent a picture of it to the MVMD. The department caught another mosquito on the resident’s property and a test revealed it was an Aedes Aegypti.
“If we can be very proactive and the infestation is in a very limited area, there is a slim chance we can eradicate it,” said Cabrera.
He advises residents to drain standing water both indoors and outdoors and to scrub the containers. Aedes Aegypti larvae can develop in just one bottle cap with water.
“Sometimes we don’t think that the places where they lay their eggs collect water,” he said. “So people have to diligently look for places where water can collect.”
He checks everything from his gutters to his plants.
Aedes aegypti likes to stay around people and doesn’t spread as widely as other types of mosquitoes.
They bite day and night and love to nibble their ankles. Residents with a lot of mosquitoes should contact the MVMD.
Mosquitoes do not spread COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization and a study published in Scientific Reports in July.
– Annelise Hanshaw