Exchanging potted plants is spreading mosquito population

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The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District discourages the practice of exchanging potted plants as the invasive mosquito population in Winters remains widespread across town.

In mid-September an adult female Aedes aegypti mosquito was found in a trap placed near East and Main streets. The invasive container-breeding mosquito is an aggressive species that prefers to bite people during the day and has the potential to transmit serious diseases including Zika, dengue and chikungunya. The discovery in Winters was the first of its kind detected in Yolo County, ever. It has since been found in other communities including the neighboring City of Davis.

Winters continues to host the largest infestation in Yolo County.

“The infestation we have found in Winters is the most widespread that we have found anywhere else,” said Luz Maria Robles, Public Information Officer for the District. “We keep finding both larvae and adult mosquitoes in both inspections and in traps.”

At this point the District crews have canvassed the entire town and left informational materials on door knobs. Robles said while they are not trapping to the extent they had been, they have set up a few permanent traps at different sites and will continue to re-trap at those locations.

Robles noted concerns that community members sharing potted plants could be a contributing factor.

She said while there is no risk in exchanging cuttings or the plants themselves, moving the containers from one location to another risks moving eggs.

“These mosquitoes are container breeding mosquitoes. Even if it (container) is dry it’s difficult to see the eggs,” Robles said. “That’s how these mosquitoes can be transferred from one neighborhood to another.”

The District expects to see a suppression in the mosquito population as soon as temperatures begin to be consistently cooler and the mosquitoes go into hibernation. However, warmer weather above 60 degrees will continue to provide prime breeding conditions.

Robles said they will continue doing both Larviciding and ground spraying treatments in areas.

Larviciding treatments work to target immature mosquito larvae and pupae, before they are given an opportunity to develop into an adult mosquito. This type of spraying treatment usually happens in the early morning hours between 2-6 a.m.

Ground spraying treatments target flying, adult mosquitoes. This type of spraying treatment usually happens around dusk from 7-10 p.m.

Winters residents can sign up to receive notifications for the treatments in their area online at https://www.fightthebite.net/services/spray-notifications/.

When signing up, residents are able to specify which types of spray treatments they would like notifications on.

The District encourages residents to reach out with any questions. They are also encouraged to immediately report any bites that occur in the daytime by calling 1-800-429-1022. If a resident notices mosquitoes in their yard they can request a free service inspection and treatment online at  at www.FIGHTtheBITE.net.

They ask community members to keep in mind and practice the District D’s of mosquito prevention: 

Drain standing water that may produce mosquitoes.
Dawn and Dusk are times to avoid being outdoors.
Dress appropriately by wearing long sleeves and pants when outside.
Defend yourself by using an effective insect repellent.  Make sure to follow label directions!
Door and window screens should be in good working condition.
District personnel are also available to address any mosquito problems.

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