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Post Date:08/25/2017 9:59 AM

Jill Oviatt
Public Information Manager
(760) 342-8287 or (760) 289-9298

For Immediate Release:
August 25, 2017

Aedes aegypti now present in five Valley cities - residents urged to rid yards of standing water.

INDIO, Ca, August 25, 2017: The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District has detected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in La Quinta within the area bordered by Vista Dunes Lane, West Harland Drive, Via Rosa and Sun Brook Lane. District laboratory staff confirmed that the mosquitoes found were an invasive mosquito species capable of transmitting serious viruses such as chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever and Zika. While these viruses are not currently transmitted locally, the District is taking steps to eliminate and reduce the spread of this mosquito throughout the Coachella Valley before it becomes established.

District teams will be conducting enhanced surveillance in the area including trapping to evaluate the extent of the infestation. Technicians will also be searching for standing water sources where mosquitoes lay eggs and starting a door-to-door campaign of about 120 homes. Technicians will be looking for mosquito breeding sites in residents’ yards, carrying out control activities as needed and educating residents on how to prevent breeding. Notices will be distributed to homes delineated by the streets shown above, and signs will be posted on street corners August 28 to alert people about the presence of the mosquito and the upcoming control strategies. Door-to-door inspections will begin August 29.

“Aedes aegypti mosquitoes love your home just as much as you do,” says Jill Oviatt, Public Information Manager at the District. “This mosquito species prefers backyard water sources over and other environments and is commonly found laying eggs in saucers of potted plants, soda cans, discarded bottle caps, bird baths, and other manmade sources.”

Invasive Aedes mosquitoes are small (about ¼ inch), black and white, and feed almost exclusively on humans, biting aggressively all day long. To eliminate this mosquito people need to eliminate all possible standing water sources where mosquitoes lay eggs. The public plays a critical role in helping to control the spread of this mosquito population.

Aedes aegypti was first detected in the Coachella Valley in the City of Coachella in May 2016 and has since been detected in Indio, Cathedral City, and Palm Springs. After months of intensive surveillance and control strategies in Coachella, Indio, and Cathedral City, detection of the invasive mosquito in those areas has dropped substantially. Aggressive surveillance and control activities are ongoing in Palm Springs, where the District continues to detect the highest number of the invasive Aedes mosquito. Aerial control applications targeting mosquito larvae have been underway in Palm Springs since the end of July and will continue for four more Saturdays from 5-7 a.m., weather permitting, August 26, September 2, 16, and 30. The application zone is in between East Sunny Dunes, South Sunrise Way, East Via Carisma, and the mountains.

While the Valley’s native mosquito population often drops in August, mosquito numbers and virus activity remain high in Mecca with 14 samples of mosquitoes collected from 11 traps in the past three weeks testing positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This brings the current number of mosquito-borne virus-positive samples to 105 in the Coachella Valley for 2017. There were 62 positive samples at the time last year. In response to the increased virus activity and in an effort to reduce the number of mosquitoes and interrupt virus transmission, the District will also carry out aerial adult control applications in the East Valley. Applications are scheduled on August 27-29, 9 p.m. to midnight. Route maps and additional information about the applications are available at<>.

District staff will post disease notification and control application signs in the area and continue enhanced mosquito surveillance and control as necessary to reduce the number of mosquitoes.
Mosquito-Proof Your Home:
·         Drain Standing Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in and near standing water. Limit the number of places for mosquitoes to breed by draining/discarding items that hold water, such as old tires, buckets, and empty flower pots. Check rain gutters and drains. Empty water from saucers under pots and water-holding plants such as bromeliads, and regularly change the water in root plant cuttings (both indoors and outdoors). Change water and scrub clean wading pools, birdbaths, and pet bowls at least weekly.
·         Install or Repair Screens. Keep mosquitoes out with tight-fitting screens on all windows and doors.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites:
·      Apply Insect Repellent. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), picaridin (KBR 3023), oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] or IR3535 according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30% or less on older children. Lemon eucalyptus oil should not be used on children under three years of age.
·      Be Aware of the Peak Hours for Virus-Transmitting Mosquitoes. Dawn and dusk are peak biting times for mosquitoes that can transmit West Nile virus and Saint Louis encephalitis virus. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities during that time. Also, be aware of day-time biting mosquitoes and report them to the District.
·      Clothing Can Help Reduce Mosquito Bites. Wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitoes away from skin.

Please contact the District at (760) 342-8287 to report mosquito problems, neglected pools, standing water where mosquitoes breed, and to request mosquitofish. Please report dead birds to the West Nile Virus Hotline at (877) 968-2473. If you are sick with fever, headache, and joint or muscle pain, contact your health provider. Visit us online at<> to obtain more information and submit service requests.

For information on mosquito-borne disease transmission to humans in Riverside County, go to<>. For the latest statewide statistics for WNV activity, please visit For information on mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases, go to