Aedes aegypti mosquito, a day-biting species. Photo credit: CDC / James Gathany
by David Goldstein
After wVentura County’s rainy season, eatherspark.com, usually starts this week and lasts for 6.6 months, culminating in February. Although Ventura County has been hot and dry lately, now is a good time to stop mosquito breeding, an issue that usually comes with our rainy season.
Small, day-biting, invasive Aedes mosquitoes were recently found in several Ventura County towns, according to Cary Svoboda, director of the vector control program at the Ventura County’s Department of Environmental Health. The problem will get worse if we don’t take precautions before the rain starts.
One precautionary measure is to ensure that appropriate screens are attached to rain barrels that collect rainwater. According to Svoboda, a 1/16-inch net is required to keep all mosquitos out.
Tire swings, tire sandboxes, tire obstacle courses, and other tire reuses can also pose a mosquito hazard. No matter how angled a stored tire is, it will collect water if it is not covered. Worse, when the rain is over, the tire’s curve shadows collect water, preventing it from evaporating quickly. The black rubber of the tire warms the water and makes it even more attractive to mosquitoes. Puncturing tire walls for drainage is difficult, and since cutting tools ricochet off tires, it can be dangerous. Therefore, covering tires to prevent water build-up is essential, if not always practical.
Also, keep an eye on potted plants to avoid an issue my parents faced last month. Plagued by mosquitos, they called a vector control specialist who examined their back yard and found pools of water in their overgrown, root-bound potted orchids. Roots prevented drainage from the bottom of the pots, so water would pool under leaves on top of the ground and mosquitos would breed. To avoid problems.
A similar problem with potted plants concerns overwatering. If you pour over it, you can create puddles in the drainage plate under the pot.
The Ventura County Vector Control Program, administered by the Ventura County’s Environmental Health Division, has a website dedicated to this topic at www.vcrma.org/vector-control-programwho mentioned other tips. For example, fill a hollow stump or tree hole with sand to prevent water retention. Store wheelbarrows, small boats, children’s toys, paddling pools, and empty pots upside down; and avoid the build-up of lawn debris or raked leaves in gutters and storm sewers to ensure the water flows and not in pools.
You should also store ornamental ponds Mosquito fishavailable free of charge by calling 805-.662-6582. B.Acterial Larvicide like MosquitoDunks is another control measure against mosquito larvae.
If you see danger on someone else’s property, it is best to politely inform them. Another option is to contact the Ventura County Vector Control Hotline at 805-658-4310. You can leave an anonymous report with just the address of the danger. However, if you leave your name and phone number as well, the staff can contact you in case they cannot locate the danger you identified.
David Goldstein, with the Ventura County Public Works Agency, can be reached at 805-658-4312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.