Californians may swat more bugs this summer.
After an abnormally rainy winter, the state’s soggy environment should be ideal for blood-feasting insects to breed as temperatures rise.
Chris Grinter, California Academy of Sciences entomology collection manager, said mosquitoes will have additional breeding possibilities.
Grinter predicted mosquito population expansion in Southern California, where summers are hotter, rather than the Bay Area, where fog and colder temperatures limit numbers.
He added mosquitoes may be more prevalent in hotter East Bay valleys.
The San Francisco Department of Public Health informed SFGATE that mosquito levels are usually low. The agency will monitor activities to see how recent storms may affect populations.
California mosquito season begins as temperatures rise. Experts say spring to late summer is the season.
To reduce the mosquito explosion, Grinter and other specialists advised monitoring standing water. Standing water breeds mosquitoes.
“Even the tiniest bottle cap might support a mosquito,”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all mosquitoes flourish in water, including lakes, marshes, pools, and open containers.
Judith Pierce, Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District public engagement coordinator, said backyards are the main source of mosquitoes this year. She claimed the district has seen backyard water items abandoned, drawing insects.
Pierce said, “We just don’t have the ability to walk into every person’s home every week to remind them to make sure there’s no standing water. Our theme this year is “Take care of your own places.”
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Dwelling on San Francisco’s Lombard St.
Experts warned that more mosquitoes might mean more bites and West Nile virus.
Mosquitoes spread West Nile virus. The CDC reports that 1 in 5 persons infected with the virus develop a fever and other cold-like symptoms. The FDA stated 1 in 150 affected persons acquire a severe or deadly disease.
Pierce said the Bay Area has a “extremely low” incidence of West Nile infections, and low-income communities and those without education and resources are most at danger.
UC Davis pathology, microbiology, and immunology professor Chris Barker said that the hazard is higher in inland Bay Area areas where mosquitoes may incubate the virus.
Barker said Bay Area mosquito control agencies examine and monitor mosquitoes.
“It is too early to predict if the rainy weather may increase West Nile virus risk,” he added.
Barker said the following months’ weather will determine this mosquito season’s intensity.
Barker said cold, damp spring weather in the Bay Area might delay and perhaps lengthen mosquito season. He claimed mosquitoes will multiply sooner and quicker as temperatures rise.
Public health experts recommend checking standing water, using insect repellent spray, installing window screens, and wearing long-sleeved shirts at night when mosquitoes are present.