El Dorado County sets mosquito traps | TahoeDailyTribune.com
Dawn Hodson
Mountain Democrat

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El Dorado County sets mosquito traps

Jeffrey Warren, Environmental Health Program Manager with El Dorado County, pulls back a branch to reveal a mosquito trap containing water and alfalfa in an area near Green Valley Road and Cameron Park Drive July 31.

Taking preventive measures, El Dorado County has set out traps to capture disease bearing mosquitoes with the hope that they don't find any.

Looking like an ordinary black bucket with a top on it, the low tech, low-cost traps are called Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap Mosquito Traps or AGO for short.

Using just water and some grass clippings or hay, the 10 liter capacity traps use no pesticides or pheromones.

Female mosquitoes are attracted to the hay-infused standing water to lay their eggs at the water line. They enter the AGO through a capture chamber that has a screen large enough for them to get through.

However, when they try to escape they have to pass through a much finer screen, which they can't traverse. Inside the capture chamber is also a glue board that once they rest on, they are trapped forever.

The eggs themselves are collected on a hydrogel to prevent the larvae from developing.

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Jeffrey Warren, an environmental health program manager with El Dorado County, said they have placed six of the traps in various locations around the county. One is in South Lake Tahoe, one is in Cameron Park and four more are in areas around El Dorado Hills..

Placed on July 20, he said they will be checked every one to two weeks

The county started the program following the health advisory from the California Department of Public Health regarding the presence of certain mosquito species in the state known to carry zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

So far those species have been found in 10 counties including Fresno, Kern, Imperial, Los Angeles, Madera, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Mateo and Tulare.

"We are taking steps to protect public health," said Warren. "This is a new project for us and we'll see how effective it is. Hopefully we don't find anything."