Mosquito, yellow jacket season hits
Do mosquitoes bug you?
If so, you’re not alone. El Dorado County Vector Control has received numerous calls from residents unhappy with the bothersome insects. Officials are planning to start the county’s “adulticiding control program” this week.
“It’s just been a very wet year. We have large populations (of mosquitoes,” said Virginia Huber, Vector Control manager for the county. “(Without the program) we would be overwhelmed.”
The control program involves fogging selected areas around South Lake Tahoe and West Shore to reduce populations of adult mosquitoes. The areas will be fogged in the mornings and evenings.
The pesticide used is the least toxic available for mosquito control, and it degrades into a nontoxic byproduct within four to six hours.
Huber said the county is encouraging residents to watch out for possible mosquito breeding grounds.
Where are these mysterious breeding places?
They could be in any puddle of water a quarter of an inch or deeper, including flower pots, bird baths and old tires.
“We’re asking residents now to check barrels, buckets, containers – things you wouldn’t expect to be the home of mosquitoes, but where there might be mosquito larvae – and to drain water from these containers,” Huber said.
The public can also help control yellow jacket populations, Huber said.
Yellow jacket season is just beginning. Now the insects are looking for protein such as meats to feed developing young; they change to feeding on sweets later in the season.
Residents can help by eliminating water sources and food sources on their property, such as pet food and uncovered trash.
Huber said the county tries to control the insect populations because mosquitoes can carry diseases and yellow jackets can inflict multiple stings that can be life threatening to people who are sensitive to the venom.
The insect-control program has been conducted annually since the 1960s. El Dorado County Vector Control only works within the basin portion of the county.
There are at least 19 species of mosquitoes in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The most common are:
n Aedes or “snowmelt” mosquitoes have been breeding since April. They typically breed in cold pools of standing water and are usually gone by the middle of July. They bite at dusk.
n Culex and Culiseta mosquitoes are ferocious biters during the day. They breed in shallow containers of standing water.
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