BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Local experts say mosquito season is in full swing, and it will last until October or November. The Kern County Mosquito and Vector Control District says ankle-biting mosquitoes are back, but you can take steps today to keep them away from your home. Experts say a small, black-and-white mosquito called the Aedes Aegypti is already buzzing around Kern County.
“It’s a mosquito that not only will bite you multiple times, but it will bite you in the daytime,” said Terry Knight, of the Kern county Mosquito and Vector Control District. “It’s breeding in our front yards and our backyards. It’s going to be back, because we’re already seeing early numbers of this mosquito right now.”
These pesky insects can multiply in water sources as small as a water bottle.
“We’re not looking for great, big bodies of water. We’re looking for smaller sources,” said Knight.
They’re notorious for laying eggs in potted plants.
“The pot isn’t the problem, the water saucer is the problem,” said Knight. “Pour the water out of the saucers at least once a week. Or you have the option of filling in the margin of the potted plant saucer with sand.”
You can also use mosquito fish to battle them at the source.
“I recommend them in ornamental fish ponds, water troughs, or if you have water features in your front yard or back yard,” said Knight.
Meantime a higher-tech solution is on the horizon. A company called Oxitec released five million genetically engineered mosquitoes in Florida this year designed not to bite humans. As hoped, offspring from affected female mosquitoes died before reaching adulthood and male offspring carried the engineered gene that makes them far less aggressive to humans. The company plans to release modified mosquitoes in Visalia as early as next summer.
It’s worth noting the Aedes Aegypti does not carry or spread the West Nile virus. The type of mosquito responsible for our local cases is the Culex which you may find breeding in larger bodies of water like swimming pools and lakes. We asked Kern’s Mosquito Control District whether they had plans to use genetically modified mosquitoes and they currently do not.