An invasive mosquito that has the potential to carry yellow fever and other diseases has been detected in San Jacinto, one of 35 California cities where it has been located, according to a Riverside County press release.
A resident in south San Jacinto brought an adult mosquito to the Riverside County Vector Control program staff last week. Because the mosquito appeared to be an Aedes aegypti mosquito, traps were set in the area and eight more adult mosquitoes and several larvae were collected.
County staff and the California Department of Public Health were able to positively identify them as Aedes aegypti, which is not native to California.
The black-and-white mosquito prefers to feed on humans during the daytime and can transmit dengue and Chikungunya viruses. While there is no indication the viruses currently are transmitted by mosquitoes in California, there is potential for the viruses to be introduced by infected international travelers who return home, potentially to become sources for local transmission.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is different from native California mosquitoes. It lays eggs just above the water surface in small containers, such as flower pots, pet bowls, discarded tires and bird baths. Because these mosquitoes can breed in amounts of water as small as a bottle cap, residents are reminded to eliminate all standing water on their property. The species’ eggs can survive on surfaces even after water has been drained, so residents should drain all stagnant water and then scrub all items that contained the water.
The vector control staff will continue surveillance in areas surrounding the point where the mosquitoes were found. These efforts include door-to-door inspection of residential and commercial properties for mosquitoes and habitat.
Contact the Riverside County Vector Control program at 951-766-9454 to report mosquito problems or report neglected pools or standing water as potential mosquito sources. Visit the department online www.rivcoeh.org/Programs/vector for more information.