Mosquitoes can carry terrible diseases including malaria, dengue fever virus, Rift Valley fever virus, yellow fever, chikungunya virus, Zika virus, West Nile virus, Lymphatic filariasis, and Japanese encephalitis. While some of these viruses are treatable, some can be deadly.
So far this year there have been only three people who have tested positive for West Nile, in Kern, Kings, and Los Angeles counties. But mosquitoes carrying the disease have been detected in many California counties.
The heavy rains along with snowpack this past winter filled up our reservoirs, but brought flooding throughout California. All that wet weather also left behind standing water, which can result in havens for mosquito breeding.
Now that high temperatures are here, the stage is set for lots of mosquito activity. Mosquitoes thrive in warmer temperatures and are able to reproduce faster in these conditions. Some mosquitoes can be active throughout the year, but the most activity happens in California between June and September.
So before you venture out for an evening walk or for a hike in the great outdoors here are a few tips to avoid mosquito bites:
- Apply a repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Protection time varies on the type and percentage of active ingredient in these products.
- Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Check and repair all window screens and screen doors to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
- Minimize outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
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