TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Just when you think the weather is nice enough to venture outdoors again, those pesky mosquitoes make you rethink that decision. Mosquitoes love the warm, dry summer and fall climate in Northern California.
Mosquitoes can be more than a pesky annoyance, though.
Solano County is home to 21 different species of mosquitoes, which have the potential to transmit diseases including Zika, West Nile virus and encephalitis.
While these vectors may transmit these diseases, they are not endemic to the area and pose minimal risk. However, this means if the diseases are introduced into the environment, the vector is already present to transmit to humans.
There is no magical medication to prevent mosquito bites and the diseases that come from them, however, there are steps you can take to ensure you and your family stay safe:
- Repellent and barriers: Use mosquito repellent when outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and install screen doors and windows on your home. Use insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, insect repellent-3535 or para-menthane-diol. Several types of mosquitos also feed during the day so protect yourself during day and nighttime activities.
- Reduce standing water: After feeding and mating, adult female mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of standing water. Drain any stagnant water you find in flowerpots, buckets, bird baths, unused tires, wheelbarrows or small containers.
- Surveillance: Travis Public Health Office has teamed up with the Solano County Mosquito Abatement Office to set traps to monitor the mosquito population. Public health also sets traps weekly on base to survey the potential risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquito trapping runs annually from May to October.
For more information on the base’s entomology program, call public health at 707-423-5470. For information about the Solano County Mosquito Abatement program, call 707-437-1116.