Springtime marks the start of mosquito season. How to prepare

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A cemetery may seem like an unlikely place to start the annual battle against mosquitos, but the flower pots and the water in them can be a primary breeding ground for these pests.

"We are finding an extreme amount of mosquito larvae in the usual places," said Ryan McNeil. "Hot spots around town, the Fig Garden area, local cemeteries, the zoo, places of that nature."

Crews from the Mosquito Abatement team are placing insecticide pellets in pots with standing water in the cemetery. Elsewhere mosquito fish are placed in old swimming pools or unused fountains where the water is still.

The best way to keep mosquitos away is to eliminate any standing water around your home.

"The main thing residents of the county and everywhere can do to reduce the risk of mosquitos and the diseases they carry is to get rid of standing water," McNeil said. "Whether it's a flower pot, tires, children's toys, trash, anything that can hold water."

The main disease threat from mosquitos is West Nile Virus which claimed 11 lives in California last year. Other concerns are Zika and St. Louis encephalitis.

The health department recommends using insect repellent to keep the bugs away.

"If you do get bitten by a mosquito look out for the symptoms, the fever, weakness, lethargic," said Leticia Berber.

Children, the elderly, those with weakened immune systems are at highest risk of mosquito born illnesses.

Last year millions of sterilized male mosquitos which don't bite were released in Fresno County. They disrupted the mosquito mating cycle and the result was a 95 percent reduction of the Zika carrying bug.

There's been no announcement if the program will continue this year.

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The bugs do more than bite, they can spread life-threatening diseases.

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