ARDEN-ARCADE (CBS13) — A pandemic, a historic fire season and now disease-carrying mosquitoes that can spread the Zika virus. Mosquitos are becoming more than just a nuisance in the Arden-Arcade area.
In the last two weeks, Martie Nolan has discovered at least 14 bites that have left a mark.
“I started getting bites all over my legs just by going outside to take the trash out,” said Nolan. “I still get a little scared cause you never know.”
Nolan’s family is one of the dozens in her Arden-Arcade neighborhood that Sacramento-Yolo mosquito and vector control has visited to warn about an invasive mosquito in the area that is capable of carrying Zika and other dangerous diseases.
“Dengue and Chikungunya, they cause different symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, joint pain,” said Luz Marie Robles, Public Information Officer for Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District.
According, to Vector Control, the Aedes aegypti mosquito is not native to California. It’s described as an aggressive mosquito that prefers to bite people during the day. These mosquitoes are small, dark and lay eggs above water in small artificial containers like flower pots, pet dishes, birdbaths and other small containers commonly found in backyards.
Vector control is going door-to-door in targeted areas, setting out traps and spraying to kill the mosquitos that are most popular during the day.
“It’s concerning that they carry the virus because they come with a lot of complications,” said Sharyn Nolan.
The mosquitos have been detected as far north as Shasta County. The insect has been spotted throughout our area from Butte to Stanislaus County. Once the mosquitoes establish themselves in an area, Robles said it’s very difficult to get rid of them.
“Even a bottle cap of water is enough to breed these mosquitos. What makes them different is they lay their eggs on the edge of containers and their eggs can survive in a dry form for months,” she said.
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Arden-Arcade and Winters are the largest hotspots for the mosquitos in the Sacramento and Yolo county area. Isleton is the latest area to see the invasive mosquito in their area.
“It sounds typical of 2020. It’s kind of scary. I wasn’t aware they were around,” said Arden-Arcade resident Brian Anafenson.
It’s not the only concerning mosquito in our area with San Joaquin County confirming their first human case of St. Louis Encephalitis virus in the county for nearly 50 years. Officials say the person infect with St. Louis Encephalitis is doing well and recovering at home.
The virus brings flu-like symptoms but can be dangerous for the elderly and those who are immunocompromised.
“It is a virus that’s spread by mosquitos and the mosquitos have been infected by birds,” said Veronica Pehl, Director of San Joaquin Disease Control and Prevention Unit.