Southern California Braces for More Mosquitoes After Rainy Season
Southern California residents may have to deal with more than just wet weather this spring. The heavy rainfall that has drenched the region this season has also created ideal conditions for mosquitoes to thrive.
Mosquitoes need stagnant water to lay their eggs and breed, and the historic rainfall has left behind many puddles, ponds, and containers that can collect water. These potential breeding sites can produce large numbers of mosquitoes in a short time, especially when the weather gets warmer.
"Mosquitoes can go from egg to adult in as little as five days," said Pablo Cabrera, a spokesperson for the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District. "It doesn't take long for mosquitoes to go from the larva you see to full grown ones that'll look for someone like you to sting."
Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, but also a health risk. They can transmit diseases like West Nile virus, which can cause fever, headache, body aches, and in rare cases, serious complications like meningitis or paralysis. West Nile virus is mainly spread by infected birds and mosquitoes that feed on them.
"It's a bird disease so if you see dead birds in your area, that's kind of the red flag that there is West Nile virus in your area," said Cabrera.
To prevent mosquito-borne diseases and reduce the biting nuisance, officials urge residents to take action now by following three simple steps: tip, toss, and protect.
The first step is to tip out any stagnant water around your home weekly. This includes flower pots, buckets, bird baths, pet bowls, tires, and any other items that can hold water. The second step is to toss any unused containers that can collect water, such as cans, bottles, cups, or toys. The third step is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites by using repellent products that contain DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. You should also wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors and make sure your windows and doors have screens that are in good condition.
By following these steps, you can help reduce the mosquito population in your area and protect yourself from potential diseases. For more information on how to prevent mosquitoes and report any problems, you can visit the websites of your local mosquito and vector control districts or call their offices.
In South Pasadena, residents can access the services of the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District by calling 626-814-9466 or online through a service request form found at www.sgvmosquito.org[^1^]. The District covers over 26 cities in the region, including South Pasadena. It provides surveillance, inspection, treatment and education for mosquitoes and black flies[^1^].
The first indication this year of West Nile virus circulating in Los Angeles County was detected in a dead crow collected in South Pasadena[^2^]. Residents are advised to report any dead birds or mosquito bites to the District or the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.