Mosquito numbers expected to rise, First West Nile virus infection in Kern

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Some say the scorching weather is doing one good thing for Kern county. That would be decreasing the activity of one annoying nuisance, the anklebiter. Also known as, mosquitos.

Kern county averages 25 West Nile infections a year, with last year being an outlier of eight recorded infections. Officials from Kern Mosquito and Vector Control said the decrease is either because more people used sunscreen or because there were less people outside during the pandemic.

The heat affects bugs just like how it affects people too. The bugs become less active during the hotter times of the day and instead look for shelter. However, Terry Knight from Vector Control said the mosquitos look like they have adapted.

“These mosquitos, like a lot of mosquitoes, are able to adapt to high heat situations,” Knight said. “What they do is they hide, they hide in yards like this, that have high humidity. They do everything they can to preserve their own life.”

Knight said the mosquitoes have also adapted by changing their feeding times from just during the daytime to now later in the evening.

This mosquito season started off a bit slower compared to last year’s season. But the numbers are expected to rise back up as we get further into the summer months.

Knight also said the community needs to do their part to help decrease the mosquito problem. People should look in their yards and remove any still water. Children pools, dog bowls and water saucers for plant pots are common breeding locations. He also said to take a look at fountains and make sure the water is moving.

Moving water has a greater chance of preventing mosquitos from laying eggs or fertilizing them because of the probability that the eggs could get destroyed.

But even then larva eggs can be placed right above the water surface and without any contact, can last two year without being fertilized.

“Aedes Aegypti. One, they are very aggressive and two, they are container breeders,” Knight said. “So we have to switch gears and focus on containers and smaller items. Items like fountains… They are good sources for them to breed in.”

Doing these preventative measures can save your yard from a mosquito outbreak. If you think you have a mosquito problem then you can call Kern Mosquito and Vector Control through 661-589-2744.

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