Mosquitoes have been around since before time began, and for some reason, they love me. My permanent tenant and I can be walking the dog and I’ll be swarmed by mosquitoes, while she just looks at the vicious attack with a smile on her face. She thinks she was bitten once, but she isn’t sure.
I try not to worry, but life gets in the way. A new invasive mosquito species has been found in Winters, and by found, I mean covering the whole town. Hundreds of these potential disease carrying mosquitoes have been trapped in Winters, while only one has been found in Davis, so far.
This new mosquito can carry Zika, dengue and chikungunya, to name a few diseases we don’t want to catch. They are smaller than the mosquitoes that we are used to, and they bite during the day. Our local Mosquito and Vector Control District has been going door to door looking for standing water where these mosquitoes breed. That can be a bottle cap or an old tire. Anywhere where water stands for more than three days and you can have an infestation in your neighborhood.
I was more than happy to have my backyard inspected by one of the people looking for mosquito larva. I worry about my fountain and bird bath, but both were fine, partially because I put chlorine in my fountain and Sherri is religious about changing the birdbath water every other day. I also am aware of standing water and make sure the wheelbarrow and such are turned upside down.
Did I mention that Sherri has become fixated on birds and has created a bird habitat in our backyard? She was trying to lure finches away from the neighbors without success, until last week. I’m not sure how many different feeders or type of feed she went through but we now have at least two finches regularly hanging on a sock full of black seed. I’m sure they will tell their friends about the free lunch in Sherri’s backyard and we will be adding birdseed to our weekly shopping list.
Speaking of birds. For the past decade we have all been worried about West Nile, which is spread from birds, to mosquitoes, to humans. Crows and Magpies took a hit from West Nile, but I’ve been seeing more magpies lately. Hopefully magpies have built up immunity to West Nile, while the crows continue to die off.
All mosquitoes need water to reproduce, so take a minute to walk around your house looking for any standing water. Remember, it doesn’t take much, so look for anything that can hold water. That includes your pet’s water dish. If you have children, make a game of it. Who can find the most hidden water sources? I would offer ice cream to the winner, to be shared by all, of course.
A little good news, you can now eat indoors in some restaurants in town and get your nails done, not at the same time. The year 2020 isn’t a year we will soon forget, but we will adapt and learn to wear masks, wash our hands often, keep our distance from each other and not gather in large numbers.
Almost four times as many people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 as U.S. soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. That is hard to swallow, but with over 200,000 families losing a loved one from a preventable disease, prayers aren’t enough.
“Fight the Bite” and have a good week.