Take Action Now to Prevent Invasive Mosquito Species in Contra Costa County
Just two counties now stand between Contra Costa County and mosquitoes capable of transmitting Zika, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya viruses. It’s time to Fight the NEW bite.
This month, the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District is increasing surveillance and unveiling our new outreach program; Fight the NEW Bite – Stop the Invasion in an effort to reduce the risk of Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes introducing new viruses to Contra Costa County.
What is the NEW Bite?
Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian Tiger mosquito, was found in Southern California in 2011. It is capable of transmitting dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses. It has also been found to carry West Nile virus in nature.
Just two years later, Aedes aegypti, which is commonly referred to as the Yellow Fever mosquito, was found in the Central Valley. It has the ability to transmit dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika viruses.
In the years since these two invasive mosquito species were first located in California, they have spread to neighboring counties within the state. In September 2017, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were found in Merced County for the first time. Now, only Stanislaus County and San Joaquin County stand between us and these new, invasive mosquitoes.
Common Characteristics of Both Mosquito Species
- Aggressive daytime biting mosquitoes; typically biting in early morning and late afternoon
- Will bite people and animals indoors and outdoors
- Tend to stay lower to the ground and commonly bite below the knee
- Lay individual eggs that can survive on dry surfaces for six months or more
- Short flight range, so are often active near water source
How We Can Fight the NEW Bite Together
While we set new, specially designed traps, provide prevention and control in public areas, and actively look for signs of these mosquitoes, we need you to prevent mosquitoes on your own property by dumping out all types of standing water on a regular basis. Keep in mind mosquitoes need very little water to complete their life cycle; therefore some areas may not be as obvious as others. Even things like bottle caps, empty cans and bottles lying around your own yard can become sources of mosquitoes.
What to Do If You Are Being Bitten by Mosquitoes
If in spite of all of your best efforts, you are still being bitten by any mosquito while on your own property:
- Swat a mosquito, stick it in a clear plastic bag or use clear tape and tape it to a piece of paper.
- Contact the District to request service for mosquitoes.
- Tape the mosquito sample (dead mosquito in a bag or on a piece of paper) to your front door or gate so that when our employee arrives, we can identify the type of mosquito that has been biting you and look for the potential source of the mosquitoes.If we work together, we can all do our part to try to prevent either of these invasive mosquito species from joining the 23 other mosquito species we already have here in Contra Costa County. Let’s Fight the NEW Bite!