Two new non-native species of mosquito have been found in California, and health officials are warning the public to take necessary steps to safeguard their families. The mosquitoes in question are the Aedes aegypti, or yellow fever mosquito, and the Aeges albopictus, or Asian tiger mosquito. Both species are known to carry infectious diseases that can be dangerous to the public.
While the risks associated with these mosquitoes is still rather low, it is still imperative that precautions are taken to limit their spread. Both species, which can be identified by a distinct black and white striped pattern on their legs and thorax, are also more aggressive than typical mosquitoes, heightening the danger.
They carry infectious diseases such as the dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever. Neither chikungunya or dengue fever have any treatment or vaccine. Most recently they have turned up in 10 of California’s 58 counties.
The typical California mosquito will become most active at dusk and dawn, but the two new species to be on the lookout for will often stay active throughout the day. They will also readily enter buildings.
To keep themselves safe, and also help keep these two species at bay, the public should take the following steps:
- Apply mosquito repellents to your skin when you plan to be outside. Effective deterrents need to include DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and/or oil of lemon eucalyptus to both clothing and skin.
- You should wear long-sleeved clothing, long pants, socks and shoes during the times when mosquitoes are most active.
- Make use of air conditioning to cool your home or business; eschew open windows or doors that could allow mosquitoes entrance.
- Eliminate potential mosquito-breeding grounds, such as any source of standing water. These species need only a teaspoon of standing water to lay eggs.
At the Benefits Store, we know that keeping your family happy and healthy involves a large measure of prevention. Keeping you informed on the latest health news and information helps us all take better care of one another.