MADERA COUNTY (KFSN) --This week's warm break during a wet winter has Mosquito Abatement officials very concerned. It could cause a sudden spike in the mosquito population.
California's Vector Control Association said Monday mosquito control is the key to preventing the spread of the Zika virus. The Zika virus has not been found in any Valley patients but a mosquito, which can carry it, continues to thrive here.
Mosquito breeding grounds can be found all over your yard. Everything from flower pots to storm drains. It doesn't take much water to hatch eggs. A black and white mosquito-- Aedes Aegypti-- has federal, state, and local abatement officials on high alert. "I think mainly because of the temperature. I know this week it's supposed to get up to the mid 70's, that's usually when they start to breed, but then the temperature is supposed to go back to the 60's," said Leonard Irby, Madera County Vector Control District Manager.
Irby said homeowners are already calling about mosquito problems because this aggressive day-biter is back. "It takes approximately three to four days for them to develop, so, if they empty the water constantly we won't have as many Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes."
The White House will ask Congress for $1.8 billion to help fight the Zika virus in the US as well as Central America, South America, and the Caribbean-- where the virus is rapidly spreading. "We don't have the disease yet here in Madera, or in the Central Valley, like Dengue, Chikungunya. The latest is Zika, Zika virus, but they're the number one vectors for these diseases," said Irby.
And this is the scenario abatement officials worry about: Someone who becomes infected with the Aika virus in Latin America, or elsewhere, comes to the Valley and gets bitten by a mosquito. That mosquito could then spread the virus to other people.