Fresno Bee Newsroom Blog

Fresno Co: Short on water but big on mosquitoes

A sample of mosquitoes from Fresno County tested positive for West Nile virus, according to mosquito control officials on Friday.

UPDATE:
Mosquito season has arrived.

And there’s good news and bad news.

First the good: The drought means less standing water for mosquitoes to use as breeding ponds. And an improving economy has reduced the number of neglected swimming pools where mosquitoes breed.

The bad: The heat makes mosquitoes frisky and Fresno’s high temperature of 102 degrees on Sunday was perfect weather for mosquitoes to multiply.

Mosquito control officials remind that mosquitoes are more than just an annoyance. They can carry West Nile virus, which can make people sick, usually with mild, flu symptoms, but in some cases with life-threatening neurological complications.

So far, Fresno County has not detected any mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, says Tim Phillips, district manager at the Fresno Mosquito and Vector Control District. But mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in Tulare County, he says. “If it’s in Tulare, it’s here,” Phillips says. “That’s just my gut feeling.”

So it’s time to take precautions against mosquito bites. The choices are to wear mosquito repellent or long sleeves and pants in the early evenings or avoid the outdoors when mosquitoes are buzzing. For more tips about mosquito avoidance and about West Nile virus, check out the state Department of Public Health web site.

Also check window and door screens for rips and make sure they fit tight. And report green pools (there are still lots) to a local mosquito control district so they can stock them with mosquito-eating fish.

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