SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (BCN) — A certain species of mosquito has been detected in Santa Clara County that has the potential to transmit viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever, county officials announced Monday. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is described as an aggressive insect that will readily bite at any time of the day.
They are about a quarter-inch in size and have black and white striped legs. The invasive species was found for the first time in the county near the intersection of Dixon Landing Road and McCarthy Boulevard in San Jose.
Last week, Santa Cruz County reported sightings of the Aedes aegypti species in Watsonville. They have also been detected in Contra Costa County. None of the viruses associated with this mosquito have been detected in the state so far, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department said.
Santa Clara County is working to control and eliminate this species and has deployed a variety of traps. Officials are also employing tactics to eliminate mosquito eggs surrounding the location where the Aedes aegypti were found.
The public is asked to do their part by dumping out even the smallest amounts of standing water on their properties. This species likes to lay its eggs just above the water line in small containers and vessels that hold water, such as dishes under potted plants, bird baths and feeders, ornamental fountains, tin cans, children’s toys, or even discarded tires.
Eggs stick to the surfaces that they are laid on, so it is important to clean and scrub bird baths and pet watering dishes weekly and dump the water from overflow dishes under potted plants. The eggs resemble tiny bits of dirt and are about a half-millimeter in size. Once laid, the eggs can survive for more than a year without water.
To make yourself less attractive for any hungry Aedes aegypti, apply insect repellents containing EPA-registered ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 to exposed skin and/or clothing, according to the directions on the product. Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes.
Make sure that window and door screens are in good repair to keep the bugs out. Residents experiencing mosquito bites during the day should report them immediately to the Vector Control District at (408) 918-4770.
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