Mosquito & Vector News

Mosquitoes in Santa Clara County test positive for West Nile virus

From KRON 4
August 11, 2020

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – Officials said West Nile virus has been confirmed in adult mosquitoes collected in a limited area of Los Altos Hills.

According to the County of Santa Clara Vector Control District, the mosquitoes were collected from portions of the 94022 zip code.

Mosquito control treatment has been scheduled in the area for Thursday, Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. and will last about three hours.

Read more

Child Tests Positive for West Nile Virus Infection in Orange County

From NBC Los Angeles
August 10, 2020

A child who tested positive for West Nile Virus is the first person to be infected this year in Orange County, officials reported Monday.

The child, whose age and identity are protected, was diagnosed sometime last week and was hospitalized but is expected to recover, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency. This was the first time this year a person in the county has been infected.

The state has reported 10 people infected statewide so far in 2020.

County officials said a total of seven people contracted West Nile in the area last year.

Read more

Researchers develop system to monitor and forecast the environmental suitability of transmission of Zika, dengue fever and chikungunya

From Outbreak News Today
August 6, 2020

Researchers led by Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society and the Pan-American Health Organization have developed a system to monitor and forecast the environmental suitability of transmission of Zika, dengue fever, chikungunya and other diseases carried by species of Aedes mosquitos in the U.S. and neighboring regions.

Their results show that the forecasting skill of the new system is very good, with ‘hotspots’ of higher skill in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

The team published its findings in Scientific Reports.

The new system, called AeDES (https://aedes.iri.columbia.edu), is expected to help public-health authorities identify at-risk areas at least a month ahead of time, improving response and planning operations.

Read more

California Horse Confirmed With WNV

From The Horse
August 6, 2020

On Aug. 3, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) officials confirmed the state’s second case of West Nile virus (WNV) in a horse in 2020. The affected horse, a 2-year-old Quarter Horse colt from Stanislaus County, began showing neurologic signs on July 28. Those signs included falling, fore- and hind-limb ataxia (incoordination), and knuckling. The horse, which was unvaccinated, is reported as recovering.

Read more

West Nile Virus found in Davis

From the Davis Enterprise
August 6, 2020

West Nile Virus is in Davis.

Dead birds found July 30 and Aug. 2 have tested positive for the virus, as have multiple mosquitos found throughout Yolo County, the local vector control district announced on Wednesday.

“We are closely monitoring and keeping an eye on the city of Davis since (West Nile) has been detected within city boundaries and in the surrounding areas,” said Gary Goodman, manager of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.

“While temperatures have cooled off significantly this week, we are still in the middle of summer and conditions are right for mosquitoes to continue breeding and posing a threat for disease transmission,” said Goodman.

Read more

Warming climate may bring more West Nile outbreaks to Southern California

From Berkeley News
August 5, 2020

As climate change heats up the weather in Southern California, coastal populations from San Diego to Santa Barbara may face an increased risk of contracting West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, suggests a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

West Nile virus is America’s deadliest mosquito-borne disease and has been a threat to the Los Angeles metropolitan area since it arrived in 2003. The virus is harbored by mosquitos and birds and is most commonly spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.

The study team analyzed data on nearly 2 million mosquitoes that had been captured and tested for West Nile in Los Angeles between 2006 and 2016. They then used machine learning to identify the landscape and climate conditions that influenced mosquito infection in different neighborhoods.

Read more

New System Tracks and Forecasts Outbreak Risk of Dengue and Zika

From State of the Planet
August 4, 2020

Researchers led by Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society and the Pan-American Health Organization have developed a system to monitor and forecast the environmental suitability of transmission of Zika, dengue fever, chikungunya and other diseases carried by species of Aedes mosquitos in the U.S. and neighboring regions.

Their results show that the forecasting skill of the new system is very good, with ‘hotspots’ of higher skill in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

The team published its findings in Nature Scientific Reports.

The new system, called AeDES, is expected to help public health authorities identify at-risk areas at least a month ahead of time, improving response and planning operations.

Read more

Murder Hornets Could Spread Across U.S. and Establish Permanent Presence, Experts Say

From Newsweek
August 4, 2020

Asian giant hornets have the potential to spread across the United States and establish a permanent presence in the country, experts have told Newsweek.

The hornet species—the world’s largest—is native to eastern and southern portions of Asia, however, the insect was detected in British Columbia, Canada in September 2019, and subsequently, across the border in a single county of Washington state in December of that year.

“I suspect if they are not stopped in Washington they will spread across the more temperate regions of the United States—basically, any place that approximates where they are already established, and, as they are closely related to our paper wasps, probably where those are established too,” Marc Lame, clinical associate professor at Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, told Newsweek.

Read more

West Nile Virus Detected in San Gabriel Valley

From NBC Los Angeles
August 3, 2020

Mosquitoes in Pomona tested positive for West Nile virus, officials with the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District announced Monday.

After discovering the presence of the mosquito-borne disease in a routine test, control officials encouraged residents to take action now to prevent an outbreak from spreading in their communities.

“West Nile virus is endemic, which means we’ll detect it every year in our communities,” said SGVMVCD Scientific Program Manager Melissa Doyle. “As the season heats up, everyone should take the necessary steps to prevent mosquito bites and eliminate stagnant water around their home.”

Read more

Aedes mosquitoes biting and breeding

From Champion Newspapers
August 1, 2020

The “Aedes” mosquitoes are aggressively biting residents leaving behind red marks that are itchy and sometimes painful.

The black mosquitoes with distinctive white bands on their bodies are considered “invasive” because they can potentially carry diseases such as West Nile Virus, Zika and others.

The good news is that there have been no cases of West Nile Virus as of July 24 in the boundaries of the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District even though the activity and spread of the mosquitoes is on the rise.

The District includes Chino Hills, Chino, Ontario, Montclair, Upland, Rancho Cucamonga and county areas.

Brian Reisinger of the District said the mosquitoes are small-container, backyard breeders that bite day and night.

Read more

West Nile-Carrying Mosquitoes Netted in Nuevo

From NBC Los Angeles
July 31, 2020

Mosquitoes netted in Nuevo tested positive for West Nile virus, but there were no immediate plans to start pest control spraying in the area, Riverside County health officials said Friday.

A batch from a collection site in the area of Orange Street and Reservoir Avenue bordering Mystic Field was confirmed to be carrying WNV, according to the Department of Environmental Health.

The agency has netted numerous West Nile-carrying mosquitoes in that same general area in summers past. Department of Environmental Health spokeswoman Dottie Merki said the mosquitoes were caught on July 21, and testing by a vector control lab verified on Thursday that they were WNV positive.

Read more

Research shows how Zika virus succeeds in protecting key parts of its genome

From News Medical Life Sciences
July 30, 2020

To fight viruses, cells can deploy defence enzymes that progressively destroy viral genome strands starting from one of the two strand ends. However, this degradation mechanism is not effective against epidemic viruses such as Zika. In fact, the defence enzyme jams at precise points of the viral genome, which put up a strenuous resistance by assuming “defensive” conformation. This is how the virus succeeds at protecting important pieces of its RNA inside infected cells, as demonstrated by a recent study coordinated by SISSA of Trieste and published in the journal Nature Communications.

Although the capability of some viruses, such as those responsible for Zika infection, dengue or yellow fever, to generate RNAs resistant to the attack from the cellular machinery was already known, the scientists have discovered and explained in this study the mechanistic rationale behind the phenomenon using computer simulations. Some parts of the viral RNA strand react to the progressive enzymatic degradation, which starts from one particular end of the strand, by assuming an extremely compact form.

Read more

West Nile virus found widespread throughout Butte County

From ABC7
July 31st, 2020

Butte County has confirmed seven mosquito pools and two sentinel chicken have tested positive for the West Nile virus (WNV).

Mosquitoes carrying the virus have been found widespread throughout Butte County on the valley floor, according to the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Officials say mosquitos carrying the virus have been collected from the southern area of Butte County (Honcut) as far north as west Chico.

Read more

 

Study Reveals How Different Mosquitoes Respond to Light

From Pest Control Technology
July 30, 2020

IRVINE, Calif. – In a new study, researchers found that night- versus day-biting species of mosquitoes are behaviorally attracted and repelled by different colors of light at different times of day. Mosquitoes are among major disease vectors impacting humans and animals around the world and the findings have important implications for using light to control them.
 
The University of California, Irvine School of Medicine-led team studied mosquito species that bite in the daytime (Aedes aegypti, aka the Yellow Fever mosquito) and those that bite at night (Anopheles coluzzi, a member of the Anopheles gambiae family, the major vector for malaria). They found distinct responses to ultraviolet light and other colors of light between the two species. Researchers also found light preference is dependent on the mosquito’s sex and species, the time of day and the color of the light.
 

No, that’s not a murder hornet, unless you’re a cicada. What you should know about the other ‘killer’ wasps you’re seeing lately

From The Morning Call
July 28, 2020

That song from “The Lion King” about the circle of life is catchy enough, but it doesn’t mention the gigantic wasps that paralyze cicadas with a venomous sting, drag them into an underground burrow and lay eggs on their bodies so the babies have something to eat when they hatch.

For the cicada, that’s one lousy circle. For the wasp — the eastern cicada killer, a 2-inch-long creature with black and yellow stripes and the tongue-twisting Latin name Sphecius speciosus — it’s just good parenting.

Cicada killers are beginning to make themselves evident because annual cicadas are beginning to emerge. People who have never seen them before are, understandably, disconcerted, wondering if Pennsylvania has been invaded by the hot new insect horror of this dystopian year — the Asian giant hornet, better known as the murder hornet.

Dead Bird Found In Benicia Tests Positive For West Nile Virus

From Benicia Patch
July 28, 2020

SOLANO COUNTY, CA — A bird found in the city of Benicia tested positive for West Nile virus, county officials said Tuesday.

The bird, a California Scrub-Jay, was collected July 12 in eastern Benicia, according to officials with the Solano County Department of Health and Social Services Public Health division and the Solano County Mosquito Abatement District.

“This marks the official start of West Nile virus season in Solano County,” said Dr. Christine Wu, the county’s deputy health officer. “This is an important reminder for residents to take the necessary precautions to avoid coming in contact with mosquitoes, such as using insect repellent when outside and eliminating standing water where mosquitoes can breed.”

Read more

2,000+ reports of potential Asian giant hornets sent to Washington Department of Agriculture

From King5
July 23, 2020

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The buzz about Asian giant hornets in Washington might have died down, but the process to track them is still very much alive.

Over 2,000 potential sightings of the invastive hornets have been reported to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) over the past few months.

Almost all of them turned out to be false reports. 

“99.9% of the time the answer is no. People are learning a lot, not about Asian giant hornets, but about other insects that are out there,” said Karla Salp, WSDA Public Engagement Specialist. 

The insects most commonly confused for Asian giant hornets are bald-faced hornets, yellow jackets, bumblebees and ten-lined beetles.

Read more

2 CHICKENS TEST POSITIVE FOR WEST NILE VIRUS IN BUTTE COUNTY

From Action News Now
July 23, 2020

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. – The West Nile Virus has been identified and is now active in Butte County. Two of the District’s sentinel chickens have tested positive with West Nile virus (WNV), the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District announced Thursday.

One chicken is from the Palermo area and the other chicken is five miles west of Chico. With increasing mosquito populations and the detection of WNV within Butte County, the District said it’s urging residents to take all precautions necessary to drain any and all un-needed standing water, report any suspected mosquito-breeding sites to the District, and protect themselves from mosquito bites.

The District said this is the first positive indicator of WNV in the county for 2020. WNV is active throughout the state of California and activity is rising, according to the District.

“It’s imperative that county residents be aware that WNV is active and to avoid mosquito bites by whatever means necessary. Residents are urged to do their part to prevent mosquitoes from breeding by inspecting and eliminating all standing water from their properties.” WNV has been identified in Butte County every year since its arrival in 2004. Since 2004, 249 residents have been infected with the virus, 9 of which have lost their lives.

Read more

Vector Control Puts Los Angeles on ‘Mosquito Watch’

From Los Cerritos News
July 22, 2020

Los Angeles, CA.  The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD/District) recently launched its grassroots outreach program, Mosquito Watch. This neighborhood program, facilitated by the District’s Community Liaisons, educates, mobilizes and empowers Angelenos to take action against mosquitoes as populations and virus activity increase.

A new resource website, TipTossTakeAction.org, allows individuals to join Mosquito Watch by taking a pledge to protect their communities. They are then guided through three easy steps to learn about mosquito breeding source reduction and sharing the information with their neighbors.  

Read more

Mosquito Sample In Placer County Tests Positive For West Nile Virus

From CBS Sacramento
July 22, 2020

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Vector control officials say a mosquito sample in Placer County has tested positive for West Nile virus.

The Placer Mosquito and Vector Control District announced the county’s first positive sample on Wednesday. It was taken from a mosquito trap in the western part of the county, near Baseline and Pleasant Grove roads.

Health officials have already confirmed positive West Nile samples in nearly a dozen other California counties this season. Back in late June, Stanislaus County also confirmed two human cases of the virus.

Read more

Mosquito complaints surging in Del Mar

From ABC 10 News San Diego
July 21, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — People living along the coast in north county say they can’t remember the last time mosquitoes were so bad.

Sharon Mauro lives near the San Elijo Lagoon in Solana Beach.

“Oh, we couldn’t leave the house without them attacking us,” said Mauro.

She hired Tony Gallardo of Mosquito Joe to spray her property.

“The last few weeks have been very busy. Basically, from the coastline all the way to Poway, the mosquito problem is pretty significant right now,” said Gallardo.

Gallardo says he sprays roughly 15 homes a day.

“This is kind of a perfect storm in everybody is stuck at home now, they want to be outside. The kids are getting tired of being inside. You get outside the mosquitos are eating everybody up, they’re breeding cause they have more food, strange way to put it,” said Gallardo.

Experimental drug reduces replication of zika virus and prevents microcephaly in mice

From MedicalXpress
July 20, 2020

An international group of researchers have discovered that inhibiting AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor)—a protein with roles in regulating immunity, stem cell maintenance and cellular differentiation—enables the immune system to combat replication of zika virus in the organism far more effectively. In experiments performed at the University of São Paulo’s Biomedical Sciences Institute (ICB-USP) in Brazil, the antiviral therapy proved capable of preventing the development of microcephaly and other malformations in mouse fetuses whose mothers were infected while pregnant.

The study was supported by FAPESP. An article describing the results was published on July 20 in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Read more

Yellow fever mosquito breeding in San Diego County backyards

From CBS 8
July 20, 2020

SAN DIEGO — Have you noticed an increase in mosquito bites recently, maybe targeting your ankles?  A non-native species of mosquito especially adapted to breeding in our backyards is gaining a foothold in San Diego County.

They are ankle biters that swarm during the daylight hours, outside or inside your home. Summertime is peak season for the so-called yellow fever mosquito.

“It’s that kind of going after the feet and the ankles that seems to be one of their more notorious characteristics,” said Chris Conlan, supervising vector ecologist with the County of San Diego.

“The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is a specialized sort of critter in that it really breeds more in small containers. So, you’re not going to see it breeding in the ponds, rivers and streams that we have around the county,” said Conlan.

That means standing water in your backyard is the perfect breeding ground for the yellow fever mosquito.

Read more

Mosquitoes in Lake County test positive for West Nile virus

From Lake County Media
July 19, 2020

LAKEPORT, Calif. – A sample of mosquitoes collected in Lake County tested positive for West Nile virus, officials said Saturday.

The Lake County Vector Control District said the mosquitoes, Culex tarsalis (western encephalitis mosquito), were collected near Middletown on July 14.

“Detecting West Nile virus is typical for July in Lake County,” said Jamesina Scott, Ph.D., district manager and research director of the Lake County Vector Control District.

“Many of us are spending more time at home and in our yards this summer, and during the COVID-19 pandemic it’s easy to forget that West Nile virus is still here,” Scott said. “Thankfully, mosquitoes cannot transmit COVID-19.”

Lake County Vector Control District continues to provide mosquito control services to the community.

Read more

Fight the bite: Controlling mosquitoes in Placer County in 2020

From Gold Country Media
July 18, 2020

Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest creatures in the world. Their ability to spread disease causes millions of deaths worldwide every year.

There are 112 genera of mosquitoes in existence, but three genera perform the most acts of pestilence.

Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever are all transmitted to humans by a species within genus Aedes.

A. aegypti (commonly called the yellow fever mosquito) was reported in south Placer County in August 2019 and several Central Valley and Southern California counties. Although they are out at dusk and dawn, daytime biting is a hint to their presence. They can lay eggs in as little water as contained in a bottle cap.

Human malaria is transmitted only by some females within the mosquito genus Anopheles, and they can be found in Placer County.

The most common malaria vector in our county is Anopheles freeborni. This large, over-wintering pest is a vicious biter which enters houses readily. It can be found throughout most of California, especially in rice-growing areas, and is also a daytime biter.

Ground pools, small streams, irrigated lands, freshwater marshes, forest pools and any other place with clean, slow-moving water are considered prime malaria mosquito breeding grounds for egg-laying.

Read more

Summer Mosquito Spraying Begins in Parts of Coachella Valley

From MyNewsLA
July 18, 2020

With potentially deadly mosquito-borne viruses continuing to be detected in the Coachella Valley, crews will begin pesticide spraying operations Saturday morning that are expected to continue into the fall.

Spraying will occur on weekend mornings in Palm Desert and La Quinta through Sept. 13, from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., except for one Sunday in August, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

In La Quinta, spraying will be focused on the Cove neighborhood, bounded by Calle Tampico, Avenida Bermudas, Calle Tecate and Avenida Montezuma. In Palm Desert, crews will be deployed to an area bounded by El Paseo, Portola Avenue, Haystack Street and Highway 74.

Read more

 

Kern County working hard to curb mosquito problem

From KGET
July 16, 2020

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.

Read more

 

Estimation of mosquito-borne and sexual transmission of Zika virus in Australia: Risks to blood transfusion safety

From Physicians Weekly
July 16, 2020

Since 2015, Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreaks have occurred in the Americas and the Pacific involving mosquito-borne and sexual transmission. ZIKV has also emerged as a risk to global blood transfusion safety. Aedes aegypti, a mosquito well established in north and some parts of central and southern Queensland, Australia, transmits ZIKV. Aedes albopictus, another potential ZIKV vector, is a threat to mainland Australia. Since these conditions create the potential for local transmission in Australia and a possible uncertainty in the effectiveness of blood donor risk-mitigation programs, we investigated the possible impact of mosquito-borne and sexual transmission of ZIKV in Australia on local blood transfusion safety.

Read more

West Nile found in Yolo County for first time this year

From the Davis Enterprise
July 16, 2020

West Nile virus has been detected in Yolo County for the first time this year.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District reported Wednesday that a mosquito sample near Zamora tested positive for the disease.

Meanwhile, West Nile virus activity continues to gradually increase throughout north Sacramento County as more mosquito samples and dead birds tested positive this week from areas near Carmichael, Fair Oaks and Arden-Arcade.

“With the warmer temperatures we’ve seen recently, West Nile virus activity is steadily rising,” said district manager Gary Goodman.

“To date, the amount of West Nile virus activity has been lower than other seasons,” Goodman said. “However, we are in the middle of summer and this can quickly change. Therefore, it’s extremely important that residents continue taking proper precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes.”

Read more

West Nile virus found in Yolo County mosquito sample for 1st time in 2020; activity rising

From the Sacramento Bee
July 15, 2020

For the first time this season, officials at the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District reported Wednesday that they have found West Nile in a mosquito sample in Yolo County. It was in Zamora.

“With the warmer temperatures we’ve seen recently, West Nile virus activity is steadily rising,” said Gary Goodman, the district manager. “To date, the amount of West Nile virus activity has been lower than other seasons, however … this can quickly change. Therefore, it’s extremely important that residents continue taking proper precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes.”

In Sacramento County, the district has reported finding West Nile virus in 18 dead birds and 12 mosquito samples over a large swath of territory between Interstate 80 and Highway 50 from Sacramento to Folsom as well as in Elk Grove and south Sacramento.

Read more

Bugging Out Over This Mosquito-Borne Virus? How To Safeguard Your Home This Summer

From The Telegraph
July 15, 2020

2020 has brought the novel coronavirusmurder hornets, locusts, and a giant “Godzilla” Saharan dust cloud. As if that weren’t enough to contend with, there’s another potential threat that should be on your radar this summer. It’s called Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, and known as the deadliest mosquito-borne illness in the United States.

“This virus first becomes widespread between one particular mosquito species, Culiseta melanura, that transmits the pathogen between birds in wooded swamplands,” says Brittany Campbell, entomologist for the National Pest Management Association. “Then, different mosquito species that feed on humans pick up the pathogen from infected birds and spread it to humans.”

Read more

The Yellow Fever Mosquito Found Again In Stockton

From San Joaquin County MVCD
July 13, 2020

STOCKTON, CA. -The San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District’s (District) mosquito surveillance system has detected the invasive yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) in the Brookside area of Stockton. “With this find, this invasive mosquito has survived the winter and continues to populate, said Aaron Devencenzi, Public Information Officer of the District. “The yellow fever mosquito is very difficult to control, so public call-ins are very important,” said Devencenzi.

Aedes aegypti is a small (about ¼ inch) black and white mosquito that bites aggressively during the day. The public can help prevent the spread of these invasive mosquitoes by calling in daytime biting mosquitoes to the District.

The District will continue surveillance efforts by placing traps used to collect adult mosquitoes and mosquito eggs. Additional efforts may include the District’s staff conducting door to door inspections of the residential area near the recent Aedes aegypti detection.

Read more

Case of West Nile Virus Reported In Long Beach

From RLN
July 13, 2020

LONG BEACH -The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) this mosquito season was reported in Long Beach the week of July 6. The patient, in their 60s, was diagnosed with neuro-invasive illness and is now hospitalized.

This is only the second reported case in California this year, after the first human case of the season was reported in Stanislaus County. No mosquitoes in Long Beach have been found to be positive for WNV thus far this season.

WNV is transmitted through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people who become infected have no symptoms. However, approximately one in 150 may develop a more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis. Persons with these symptoms should seek immediate care.

Read more

Voles populating Chino Hills

From Champion Newspapers
July 11, 2020

A spike in the vole population in Chino Hills and the region has prompted numerous calls to the city and the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

A vole is a rodent known as a “meadow mouse” that like to populate urban landscapes with grass and other cover they feed on, according to Janet Hartin, with the UC Cooperative Extension.

They like loose deep garden soil that makes it easier for them to burrow, she said. 

“Often, it’s the gardeners that seem to have the most trouble with them,” she said.

Kevin Marin, who has lived in Butterfield since 1991, said he has never seen so many voles, rodents, and rabbits. 

Read more

‘Murder hornet’ mania: Hundreds of people think they’ve spotted the Asian giant hornet

From USA Today
July 10, 2020

Hundreds of people in Washington State have reported suspected “murder hornet” sightings in the months since the insect was first spotted in the U.S., stirring panic in a nation already reeling from the coronavirus outbreak.

But only five of those reports were bona fide Asian giant hornets, the 2-inch-long invasive species that slaughters honeybees and can be deadly to humans, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

“Unfortunately, while their intentions are good, many people have killed and submitted many insects that are NOT Asian giant hornets,” entomologists Quin Baine and Chris Looney said in mid-June. “Not only are most of these insects not harmful, they play an important role in the environment.”

Read more

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus found in 3 Orange County cities

From KTLA
July 10, 2020

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus have been found in three Orange County cities, the county’s Mosquito and Vector Control District said Thursday.

Chip Yost reports for the KTLA 5 News at 3 on July 10, 2020.

Watch here

 

Zika May Have Damaged More Infants’ Brains Than Expected

From U.S. News and World Report
July 7, 2020

It’s a virus some might not even remember, but babies born to mothers infected with Zika who appeared normal at birth still experienced neurological or developmental problems, new research suggests.

A hallmark of infection with the mosquito-borne Zika virus in pregnant women is delivering a baby with an abnormally small head — a condition called microcephaly. But as children exposed to Zika in the womb are growing up, researchers are learning that it’s not only the youngsters born with microcephaly that they need to worry about.

Read more

Long Beach sees first case of West Nile virus this year

From the Long Beach Post
July 7, 2020

Public health officials are warning people to be vigilant during mosquito season after a patient in his or her 60s was diagnosed with West Nile virus in Long Beach this week, marking one of the first cases in Southern California so far this year.

“While the world is focused on COVID-19 prevention and response, this is an important reminder that we continue to see cases of West Nile Virus most years in Long Beach,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said in a statement. “We cannot let our guard down against mosquito-borne diseases.”

The first cases were initially reported in Northern California this year.

No mosquitoes in Long Beach have been found to be positive for the virus thus far this season.

The virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito and may include symptoms such as fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people who become infected have no symptoms.

Read more

New species of mosquito arrives in Kern County

From KGET
July 7, 2020

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Kern Mosquito and Vector Control on Monday said mosquitoes trapped east of Arvin have tested positive for the West Nile virus.

Additionally, a species of mosquito that is new to Kern has arrived. Called the Aedes aegypti, it’s a tiny, aggressive bug that feeds multiple times, said Terry Knight of Vector Control.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Kern so far this year. Knight recommended wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants when outdoors, and draining any standing water near residences to stop them from breeding.

Read more

How British Columbia and Washington state are stopping the spread of Asian giant hornets

From The Conversation
July 7, 2020

Panic-stricken headlines about “murder hornets” are thankfully mostly behind us. The nickname may have staying power, but it is certainly unearned.

First spotted in British Columbia in August 2019, the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) poses little threat to humans. In its native range in East Asia, the giant hornet is chiefly a menace to the livelihoods of beekeepers, provoking concern that it could cause similar problems in North America.

Read more

County health officials remind residents to take precautions against mosquitoes, West Nile virus

From KGET
July 5, 2020

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — County health officials are asking residents to safeguard their homes against possible breeding sites for mosquitoes and to protect themselves from the risk of acquiring the West Nile virus.

The best way to avoid the West Nile Virus, the county says, is to avoid mosquito bites, and reducing spots where they can breed.

Officials say residents should:

  • Remove standing or stagnate water from containers. Flowerpots, fountains, birdbaths, pet bowls, and other containers — even gardening tools and toys — can collect water.
  • Clean and scrub containers that collect water to remove eggs.
  • Maintain swimming pools in working condition.
  • If you have a garden pond, stock them with fish that eat mosquito larvae. You vector control district can provide free fish.
  • Report areas of mosquito infestation to your local vector control district.

Read more

‘Yellow fever’ mosquito found in Le Grand in Merced County

From the Merced Sun-Star
July 4, 2020

A mosquito capable of transmitting several human diseases — including dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika — was found this week in Le Grand, according to the Merced County Mosquito Abatement District .

The district said the invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito has now been found in three areas of Merced County since 2017, according to a news release.

The district is evaluating the extent of the infestation and will aggressively target problem areas to prevent its spread.

Read more

Mosquitoes in Indian Wells test positive for West Nile virus

From the Desert Sun
July 3, 2020

Additional mosquitoes trapped in the Coachella Valley tested positive for West Nile virus, this time in Indian Wells, officials said Thursday.

The mosquitoes were collected from traps near Vintage Drive and Portola Avenue, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District

Indian Wells is the third Coachella Valley city where West Nile virus has been detected this year. In June, mosquitoes positive for the virus were reported in Palm Desert and Cathedral City.

This year, 21 mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus. The Coachella Valley has no reported human cases of West Nile, which is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.

“Impacts of COVID-19 on staff resulted in the District suspending services for two weeks so residents across the valley need to help us and protect themselves against mosquito bites,” said Tammy Gordon, a district spokeswoman. “Avoid spending time outdoors at dawn and dusk. If you have to be outdoors, wear long sleeves and apply bug spray.”

Read more

Can You Get Covid-19 From Mosquitos?

From Late Night Health
July 2, 2020

MVCAC President Peter Bonkrude joins Mark Alyn on Late Night Health to answer the question: “Can You Get Covid-19 From Mosquitos?”

Mosquito experts say the increased attention on public health is an excellent reminder that there are many ways for residents to protect themselves from mosquito-transmitted diseases.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), to date, there is no data to suggest that COVID-19 is spread by mosquitoes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the main way that COVID-19 spreads is from person to person.

While COVID-19 is not transmitted by mosquitoes, they can transmit several other diseases such as West Nile virus. There is no human vaccine for this disease which can cause debilitating cases of meningitis, encephalitis, and even death. Also, newly established invasive Aedes mosquitoes can transmit viruses such as chikungunya, dengue, and Zika, all of which are costly to treat and can have long-term health and financial consequences.

Read more

Brazil’s Tale Of Two Epidemics: Zika And COVID-19 – OpEd

From EurasiaReview
July 2, 2020

As Brazilian athletes were preparing for the upcoming Summer Olympics, a growing global health crisis shifted the government’s attention from winning gold medals to securing testing kits. On February 16th, the Brazilian government ordered the deployment of 220,000 soldiers to hand out educational material to citizens on how to combat the new virus that was ravaging the country, a strategy that proved effective in mitigating the spread of the disease. The year was 2016, and Zika virus was the disease.

Four years later, Brazil is losing the battle against a more formidable enemy, COVID-19. The country has the world’s second-highest death toll, having surpassed the United Kingdom as deaths reached 44,000. As the situation becomes grimmer by the day, President Jair Bolsonaro has chosen to replace his two previous health ministers with an army general to lead the country to battle, even though he lacks a background in public health or medicine. The president, himself a retired army captain who has fondly romanticized the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985, has downplayed the pandemic, calling it a “little flu.” Thus far, Brazil’s COVID-19 response has been so botched that on May 26, President Donald Trump, long-time Bolsonaro ally, prohibited the entry of foreign Brazilian nationals into the United States due to an increased risk of transmission.

Read more

Wash. state begins trapping for Asian giant hornets

From Komonews
July 1, 2020

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — About 600 traps to catch invasive Asian giant hornets are being placed in Whatcom County by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, more than doubling the number already set out by citizens.

The Capital Press reports the state traps are being placed around Blaine, Custer and Bellingham, the only places in the U.S. that the giant hornet has been found.

The traps are being put on the edge of forested areas.

Read more

COVID-19 isn’t the only virus spreading this summer; entomologists watching spread of West Nile

From ABC 10 San Diego
July 1, 2020

Heather Hyland, a self-proclaimed bug nerd, has found a love for mosquitos despite the diseases they carry.

“I have loved bugs I would say since I was about 2 years old,” Hyland said.

Initially a public information officer for the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District in Southern California, she said her bug fascination was because so many people don’t like them. So, as a child, Hyland thought, someone should love them. That love turned into entomology.

“They’re so interesting. They’re these intricate little tiny bugs with the capability to do big things. If you look at how prehistoric a mosquito is, it has six mouth parts. There’s so many different things they can do that are big,” Hyland said.

Read more

West Nile Virus in Amador County, California

From EquiManagement
June 29, 2020

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has confirmed one case of West Nile virus (WNV) in Amador County.

The confirmed WNV case was in a 20-year-old Quarter Horse gelding that had onset of clinical signs of June 19 that included ataxia, hind limb ataxia and neurologic signs. The gelding was confirmed on June 26. He was alive and affected at the time of this report.

Read more

‘Murder hornets’: race to protect North America’s honeybees from giant invader

From The Guardian
June 25, 2020

It took Moufida and John Holubeshen just a day of tracing alleged sightings and studying map coordinates before the two amateur detectives found their target.

“We did the whole CSI thing,” says Moufida. “Plotting points and drawing lines, searching for where the middle of the circle – the nest – would be.”

The couple, like hundreds of other beekeepers in western Canada and the US, were hunting the Asian giant hornet, an invasive species whose stealthy advance throughout British Columbia and Washington state is causing growing unease.

Scientists and apiarists fear that, if permitted to spread unchecked, the hornets, which feast on honeybee larvae, could have disastrous consequences for tens of thousands of hives.

Read more

Zika virus ‘harms baby brain collagen development’

From SciDevNet
June 25, 2020

Zika virus can hamper vital collagen development in the brains of babies whose mothers were infected with the disease while pregnant, new research reveals, as the search for a vaccine continues.

Collagen is crucial to the circulatory system, as it regulates the compression of blood vessels. A large amount of the collagen found in the human brain is located inside vein tissue.

The research findings could explain the deaths of babies with microcephaly, a birth defect that causes a baby to be born with a smaller head and often smaller brains that may not have developed properly.

Read more