It’s been a rough year in California as far as the West Nile virus is concerned. At this point in 2015, at least 28 people have died in the Golden State from West Nile. The debilitating neurological disease is contracted through mosquito bites.
While many people believe that the mosquito season has ended in California, this is not necessarily the case. Heavy rainfall and warm weather – all consequences of the El Nino winter that is expected in California this year – are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes, especially the Asian tiger mosquito.
The Asian tiger mosquito is a species that, while rarely seen in California, are becoming more common in our state and are known to be particularly virulent. Further, Asian tiger mosquitoes breed incredibly quickly, producing large number of offspring and able to spread West Nile at shockingly quick rates, especially as compared to native mosquito populations.
Asian tiger mosquitoes, like other mosquitoes, lay their eggs in shallow water, and can use even the smallest amount of water to breed rapidly. Used tires, potted plant water trays, buckets, and even bottle caps can provide easy nests for these disease-carrying pests. Keeping these areas clear of water for the entire season is crucial, as Asian tiger mosquito eggs are viable to hatch for years following laying, waiting for ideal conditions to hatch.