BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Mosquito season is back, and numbers are expected to match the highs of last year, and this is no exception for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, better known as, the ankle biter.
This week is National Mosquito Control and Awareness week. Kern has had a history with the West Nile Virus since 2004 and has averaged about 25 human infections every year and it’s expected to be no different this year.
“We have positive West Nile Virus mosquitos here once again here in Kern county,” Terry Knight said. “We’ve had two samples of mosquitos that have been located on the South side of Bakersfield and those have been just recently over the last two weeks.”
Public Information Officer for Kern Mosquito & Vector Control Terry Knight hosted an information session that detailed ways to help decrease mosquitoes across Kern. He said people who have sprinkler systems should listen up.
“Many times, these valve boxes will leak, and they will flood,” Knight said. “This is a favorite source for the Aedes Aegypti mosquitos.”
Knight said the answer is to duct tape those holes or any other cracks you might find.
He also said people who have potted plants need to be aware of the water saucer which is a perfect breeding ground for the Aegypti mosquito. He said you should scrub the saucer, pour sand in it, or get rid of it completely.
Knight said insect repellents work and should be used but only EPA approved ones.
“Insect repellants that have EPA registered active ingredients,” Knight said. “The first one that we recommend is Deet, Picaridin, IR 3535, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.”
Knight also said the Aedes Aegypti mosquito adapted to the extreme heat and changed its feeding pattern by eating in both the early morning and later in the evenings.
We spoke with Kern County locals about what they’ve seen so far in this year’s mosquito season.
“There’s just so many more mosquitoes that are out and about swarming the areas because of all the warm air,” Connie Goldman said.
Another local shared a similar experience.
“It’s been pretty good during the daytime but at nighttime that’s when the mosquitos will tear you up on your ankles, that’s why we call them ankle biters,” William Lumabao.
Kern Mosquito & Vector Control provides a free service. If you need to schedule an appointment you can do so by calling 661-589-2744 or by filling out a form on their website, at kernmosquito.com.