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Coachella Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District

2021

Did you hear the buzz? Mosquitoes in your neighborhood could go from harmless to dangerous in less than one week.

The mosquito is a highly effective and deadly vector for human disease agents. The tiny insect has played a powerful role in spreading viruses such as West NileSt. Louis encephalitiswestern equine encephalitisdengue, and Zika.

Please help reduce the risk of contracting these diseases for your self and your community by educating yourself and taking action.

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The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is an invasive mosquito species in the Coachella Valley and is capable of transmitting serious viruses, such as chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika. It was first detected in the valley in 2016 and has been found in your neighborhood.


There are currently no human cases of these diseases in California. Let's keep it that way.


The Coachella Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District is working proactively to reduce the chances of mosquito-to-human transmission. In addition to our routine surveillance program, the District is actively monitoring for invasive Aedes mosquito species and carrying out enhanced surveillance and control activities as per the District Invasive Mosquito Species Response Plan in an effort to eliminate them.


We need your help! We cannot do it alone. We need all of our community members to be the eyes and ears in helping us reduce mosquito breeding sources in your neighborhood. Below is information on how to prevent the spread of the Aedes and recommendations on how to protect yourself from potential risk.

Mosquito-borne virus alerts and disease management applications are posted on our website and are sent through the notification list. To receive alerts right to your inbox, sign up by clicking above.

"I've lived here for years and never had problems with mosquitoes until now. What's going on?"

In 2016, an invasive mosquito was detected in the valley. Although the District regularly traps and reports detecting 13 different mosquito species, this one is different.

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This mosquito bites aggressively during the day time hours and has adapted to preferring human blood meals. This means that the Aedes adapts well in urban areas like your neighborhood. Research also tells us that once the Aedes is established in neighborhoods, it is extremely difficult to eradicate.



The Aedes comes with many nicknames describing their behaviors:


The Container Breeder - History has shown us that our more common valley mosquitoes lay eggs in deep standing water that has gone stagnant and often green/brownish in color - like a neglected pool. However, the Aedes only need one tablespoon of water to develop from egg to blood-sucking adult. They lay in as many sources as they can find turning a backyard with a lot of potted plants into a haven for mosquitoes. While potted plant saucers remain the most commonly found breeding source in the Coachella Valley, we have found breeding in birdbaths, fountains, toys, lawn drains, and even swamp coolers. Any container is a potential source for this mosquito.


The Everlasting Egg - The Aedes female lays her egg on the water line of containers whether or not water is present. The eggs stick like glue to the edge, dry out (desiccation), and wait for a water event like sprinklers or rain. It is not uncommon for Aedes eggs to remain viable and hatch after months of waiting.


The Sneaky Snacker - Different from the more common valley mosquitoes, the Aedes does not take one long blood meal but prefers to bite in short snacks, or sips, making it feel like one Aedes mosquito could be many biting mosquitoes and although people all react to mosquito bites differently, it is often reported that the Aedes have a more painful bite that other species.

"I don't have any standing water on my property. The mosquitoes are coming from my neighbor's house."

We hear that. A lot. If you are vigilant about inspecting your own yard - every single week - have thrown away all of your plant saucers, made sure your lawn drains are cleaned out regularly, and clean your fountains and pet dishes, thank you! You are a part of the solution in getting rid of these mosquitoes.


If that doesn't sound like you, keep reading.

The life cycle of a mosquito from egg to adult can be completed in less than a week, depending on water temperature and the species of mosquito.


Eggs deposited on water surfaces usually hatch within a day or so, while those deposited in the soil or water line can hatch months or even years later. It is critical that you take the steps below and remove standing water around your home each week to prevent mosquitoes in your neighborhood.

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Inspecting your yard needs to be added to your weekly chore list if we are going to reduce the mosquito's chance of making your home their home. Just like taking out your trash once a week look around your home for water collecting areas.

Lawn drains can build up debris and plant life, creating a perfect hiding spot for a mosquito to lay her eggs. They sink over time and hold the water they are supposed to drain away.

If the drain is holding water, drill holes or replacement the box with an emitter.

You can also use a mosquito dunk (available at hardware stores) to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

"I can't even enjoy my patio because of all the bites I get. What do I do?"

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  • Check lawn drains for water and debris. Clean drains regularly.


  • Inspect yards for standing water sources. Drain water that collects under potted plants, bird baths, tires, and any other water holding containers.


  • Clean and scrub pet dishes and water features weekly.



  • Swimming pools, ornamental ponds, and fountains require working pumps and regular maintenance.

"I'm getting bit INSIDE my home!"

Inside your home has all the elements a mosquito needs. Plants inside your home that propagate in water - like bamboo - are common indoor breeding sources. But that's not all. Miniature indoor plants like cactus plants can be sources too. Lift up on the cactus and both the plant and compacted soil come up with it right? Sometimes water meant for the plant does not permeate the soil and collects in the small space under it. Yep. Aedes can breed there too. We've seen it.

The guest bathroom is another common indoor source. Water in drains and toilets should be flushed regularly.

"I'm the one that always gets bit. Why is that?"

Carbon dioxide is the most universally recognized mosquito attractant and draws mosquitoes from up to 50 feet away. As we breathe, we exhale Carbon dioxide. Other cues include body odors, such as sweat, lactic acid, perfumes, and body movement.  


While there is still much we don't know about mosquitoes, like why you get bit more than your partner, there are some steps you can take to prevent mosquito bites while you are enjoying your yard or neighborhood.


Prevent mosquito bites: 

  • Don’t go outside around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear insect repellent. EPA registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 (as directed on the product label).
  • Cover up. Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Check window and door screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. 

NOTE: A repellent’s trustworthiness starts with EPA approval—a requirement that proves the repellent has been thoroughly tested to confirm that it’s safe and that it performs according to the specifics from the manufacturer. Essential oils have no such standardized oversight.



When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Find the right insect repellent for you by using the EPA’s search tool.


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"I'm a snowbird and I don't have mosquito problems."

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One of the reasons you come to the desert is the reason we stay in the desert. We love it here. If you aren't here throughout the summer when mosquitoes are most active please leave your property as dry as possible.

  • Don't invite squatters to your home. Standing water left on your property is a giant welcome sign for mosquitoes and the potential viruses they carry put your desert friends and neighbors at risk.
  • Did you drain your fountain? After it's empty, give the water line a quick scrub with a diluted bleach solution to remove any latent eggs and cover the fountain with a tarp. Make sure there are no dimples and secure the bottom to ensure it stays in place through the windy desert nights.
  • Remove any potted plants if possible. At minimum plant saucers should be turned over leaving NO CHANCE for water to pool while you are away.


"What about my dog?"

The Aedes mosquito does not transmit diseases to domestic animals. Some species can transmit pathogens like dog heart worm and it is recommended that you vaccinate your animals.

Your pets' water dish can be a breeding source. It is import to clean and refresh your pet dishes often, even the self filling pet bowls have been known to breed mosquitoes.

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We work together with you! If you have done an inspection around your home, found no standing water and are still getting bit, please call us to schedule an inspection of your property by a state certified technician. Remember that once this mosquito establishes itself, it will do everything it can to make your home their home.

Who we are:

The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is a special district accountable to the residents of the Coachella Valley and charged with protecting the public health within its boundaries through the control of vectors (such as mosquitoes) and vector-borne diseases.

Mosquito-borne virus alerts and disease management applications are posted on our website and are sent through this notification list. To receive alerts right to your inbox, sign up below. 

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Still have questions?

Coachella Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District

(760) 342-8287 43420 Trader Pl Indio, CA 92253

www.cvmosquito.org

2021