If you find a patch with multiple mosquito bites, usually on your lower leg, most likely you have been fed by an invasive Aedes mosquito.
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There are approximately 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world and nearly 4 million people die each year from various mosquito-borne diseases. There are 27 different types of mosquitoes in San Diego County, at least nine of which are known to transmit diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
The best defense against mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites. You can reduce exposure to mosquitoes by taking the following measures:
- Prevent mosquito breeding sources in your yard and in your neighborhood through Eliminate standing water
- Wear light-colored pants and long-sleeved shirts outdoors
- Repellent included DEET, picaridin, IR3535, para-menthane diol, 2-undecanone or lemon eucalyptus oil on clothing and exposed skin – If using sunscreen, apply repellants after applying sunscreen
- Try to stay inside at dusk
- Put screens on doors and windows and keep them well-groomed to keep mosquitoes from getting into the house
- Store ornamental ponds and other standing water sources with mosquito fish
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Image: San Diego County Department of Health
|Aedes aegypti: yellow fever mosquito
Aedes albopictus: Asian tiger mosquito
|Name, Art||Culex tarsalis: mosquito with western encephalitis
Culex quinquefasciatus: southern house mosquito
|Transmission of tropical diseases such as Zika virus, dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever – by biting an infected person first and then another person.||Known for||West Nile virus transmission – by first biting an infected bird or animal and then biting a person.|
|Invasive – hail from the tropics. First found in San Diego County in 2014 and 2015.||origin||Indigenous|
|Smaller than our native mosquitoes and “pretty” (for a mosquito) with striking black and white markings||Size, markings||Culex tarsalis is slightly larger than the Aedes species, but also has black and white stripes.
Quinquefasciatus is dull gray in color.
|YOU. Humans are definitely their menu item of choice, but they also feed on other living things.||favorite Food||They prefer birds – birds and animals. But they will bite people too.|
|During the day. Big difference between Aedes and Culex mosquitoes. Aedes like to bite during the day. They also bite at dusk and dawn, but rarely at night when culex mosquitoes are eating.||Favorite time to bite||Mostly between dusk and dawn – definitely at night. They don’t bite in daylight.|
|In your house! In your garden! These guys love to live in urban and suburban areas – right next to you!||Hangouts||Outside. They come into your house when you let them through a torn window or an open door. But you’ll see them most often outside – playing, hiking, picnicking, gardening; Near standing streams, brooks or bird baths, koi ponds, fountains and standing pools.|
|Aedes like to breed around people, in houses or on farms, in small amounts of water like in tree holes or in saucers under flower pots. Your eggs can do without water for six months – then submerge them in rainwater or sprinklers and boom! Immediate mosquito larvae. A week later mosquitos!||Where they breed||Culex laid 200 to 300 eggs at a time in rafts on standing water sources.|
|The prevailing wisdom is that Aedes are not strong fliers, with flight ranges of about 150 meters or so.||Estimated flight range||Culex tarsalis can fly up to five miles.
Culex quinquefasciatus is not that strong a flier traveling up to half a mile or so.
|Prevent, protect, report – with a strong emphasis on the prevention side. Empty any standing water inside and outside your home to prevent Aedes from breeding. Report to Vector Control if you are bitten in daylight.||Best defense||Prevent, protect, report – Report to Vector Control if you know of water sources where mosquitoes breed. Wear insect repellent, long sleeves, and long pants when out and about at dusk and dawn.|
The invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito Muhammad Mahdi Karim / GFDL 1.2
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Invasive Aedes mosquitoes
Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito) have been detected in the county of San Diego since 2014/2015. These mosquitoes are not native to California and can carry the viruses that cause Zika, dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever. There have been no recent cases of these viruses being transmitted locally in California. Aedes notoscriptus (the Australian backyard mosquito) was also spotted in San Diego. All three invasive Aedes mosquitoes Bite aggressively during the day and lay their eggs in small containers with water.
Image: San Diego County Department for Environmental Health
- A mosquito has four stages of life:
egg: Once placed in water, the eggs hatch in 2 to 3 days.
larva: A mosquito larva looks like a tiny wobbling worm in the water.
Doll: A larva becomes a pupa, and the adult mosquito develops inside.
adult: The total development time from egg to adult can be less than 1 week in warm weather. The average mosquito lives around 2 weeks.
- Mosquitoes don’t swarm
- Women suck blood (men don’t, they eat nectar)
- Native culex mosquitoes can transmit the West Nile virus and bite at dusk and dawn
- Invasive Aedes Egyptian mosquitoes bite during the day and can transmit the Zika virus if they bite someone with the virus and then bite someone else
- Invasive Aedes mosquitoes are aggressive biters that bite multiple times in an environment, both indoors and outdoors, especially during the day
Contact San Diego County Vector Control at firstname.lastname@example.org or 858-694-2888 to report possible Aedes activity, mosquito breeding, or high mosquito activity, request an inspection, and request other vector-related issues.
Source: San Diego County Department of Environmental Health