Warmup marks start of mosquito season

FRESNO, Calif.

The backyard BBQ is the perfect time to take a good look around for toys, tires and buckets full of water. If you don't you may wind up inviting mosquitos to the party.

Abandoned, murky green and brown swimming pools are perfect for mosquito breeding season.

Monica Palomo of the Fresno Mosquito and Vector Control District checks as many as 20 pools a day. A spray keeps mosquito larvae from attaching themselves to the surface so they drown. But district manager Tim Phillips said it's important to check your backyard for other items which can hold standing water. He explained, "The little bit of water in a tire is enough. A wheelbarrow is plenty. Five gallon bucket easily. Some flower pots, you know the dishes under flower pots can hold enough water for something."

Mosquitos don't need very much water to breed so it's important you check all possible containers in your yard. "The mosquitos are out already and they're biting."

But so are the mosquito fish Palomo dropped into a Central Fresno pool. The fish are voracious eaters and they are available to the public if you need them for your backyard pond.

Phillips said, "When we have them we certainly hand them out. If we don't have them when they call, we'll get them as soon as we can and we'll get them to them. The fish are great. They work on weekends."

If there are abandoned pools in your neighborhood you can Fresno Mosquito Control at 268-6565 or Consolidated Mosquito Abatement at 896-1085.

No human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported this year. But infected birds have been found in four counties in California. None in the Valley.

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