Mosquito-fighting measure introduced to Harland Ranch

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Mosquito traps have been set up around the neighborhood to gauge the Aedes aegypti population. (KFSN)

Biting mosquitoes can ruin your time outdoors, but an innovative way to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito was introduced in the Harland Ranch area Wednesday.

Folks living in the Harland Ranch neighborhood in Clovis don't want to suffer through the kind of summer they endured last year.

"So, last year we were pretty much inundated with mosquitoes," resident Brittany Conrad said. "If you went outside, you were guaranteed to get eaten alive."

Mosquito traps have been set up around the neighborhood to gauge the Aedes aegypti population, but this fight will be waged through the air with the release of bacteria-carrying male mosquitoes.

"When these males actually mate with a female, a local female, her eggs are not fertile," Steve Mulligan with Consolidated Mosquito Control explained. "They will not hatch."

The black and white Aedes aegypti can carry diseases such as yellow fever and Zika. Instead of releasing male mosquitoes by hand through tubes into the air, residents in both Harland Ranch and Fancher Creek have noticed a white De Bug Fresno van cruising their neighborhood.

"They will be loading them on a van and dispersing with the van as they drive through the neighborhood," Mulligan said.

The effort is a partnership between Verily and Mosquito Mate which breeds males in Kentucky.

"Hopefully, over the course of the summer, we'll see a reduction in those female mosquitoes," Mulligan said.

Millions of male mosquitoes will be released by the time the season winds down.

"We have seen more mosquitoes, but we haven't been getting as many bites," Conrad said.

Only the female mosquitoes bite.
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