BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — As if people didn’t have enough virus concerns already, the county is now warning homeowners to stay vigilant for mosquitos.
“We have a residential mosquito problem,” said Terry Knight.
Knight, who works with Kern Mosquito and Vector Control, said the county is currently dealing with an infestation of two separate mosquito species.
“The first is the Culex mosquito, which can carry the West Nile Virus,” said Terry Knight. “The other mosquito that we’re dealing with is Aedes Aegypti.”
He said a Culex mosquito carrying the West Nile virus was caught recently near the Arvin area. However, no human cases of the illness having been reported in Kern so far this year. On the other hand, the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is spreading through the golden empire like an out of control wildfire.
“We went from six square miles to 70 square miles in just one year,” said Knight. “We knew we had a problem.”
Commonly known as the “Yellow fever mosquito,” these tiny, aggressive bugs wreak havoc on unsuspecting victims. Gregory Tatum is a Bakersfield resident and said he’s been bit more than 50 times this year.
“It’s happening all day, not just at night, but pretty much throughout the day,” said Tatum.
Kern Mosquito and Vector Control, which offers free home inspections, says the calls have been non-stop all summer long.
“Last year, in June, we received 60 service requests,” said Knight. “This year, for June, we received over 600.”
Knight warns that mosquitoes lay eggs in water, so be sure to drain any stagnant water outside your home to stop them from breeding. He also cautions people to use repellent with the active ingredient Deet and to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, so bugs can’t bite you.
Knight also said if a mosquito problem is severe enough; Vector Control will fog your property for free. You can call Kern Mosquito and Vector Control at 661-589-2744.
For more information on how to protect yourself, visit kernpublichealth.com.