VENTURA, Calif. – With the start of summer and the potential for the introduction of invasive mosquito species, the Ventura County Environmental Health Division is advising the public to take precautions to protect against mosquito bites, and to remove standing water sources from in and around their homes.
Standing water combined with warm weather is an ideal environment for mosquitoes. In addition to being a nuisance, some mosquito species can transmit diseases such as West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus. WNV is now established in Ventura County.
The Division monitors and controls mosquito breeding at sources throughout Ventura County. These mosquito control and disease surveillance efforts have been increased in direct response to the increased mosquito breeding activity that occurs during the warmer months.
The Division also advises the public to be alert for two invasive (non-native) mosquito species that have recently been found in several areas of California. They are Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito) that have been known to carry several viruses, including Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Unlike most native species these are aggressive daytime biters. Both species are small black mosquitoes with white stripes on their back and legs. They can lay eggs in any small artificial or natural container that holds water. If you think you have seen these mosquitoes please call the mosquito HOTLINE number listed below.
The steps you can take to minimize your exposure to mosquito transmitted diseases include: eliminate any standing water from your property no matter how small; make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens without holes; when outdoors wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts and limit outside activity at dawn and dusk; when outdoors apply the insect repellent of your choice.
To report any potential mosquito breeding sources in Ventura County the public can call the mosquito complaint HOTLINE at 805/658-4310. The Division also provides mosquito-eating fish to the public for use in non-maintained swimming pools, ornamental ponds and similar non-natural water features. To request mosquito-eating fish call 805/662-6582.
Also, to help with WNV surveillance, the public can report wild birds that have died recently to the California Department of Public Health at 877/WNV-Bird (877/968-2473).
Warm weather is also perfect conditions for insects that are often mistaken for mosquitoes, such as gnats, midges, and crane flies which can be a nuisance, but do not transmit diseases to humans. The Division does not control these insects.
To obtain additional information about mosquito control and surveillance efforts in Ventura County please visit the EHD’s website: