The Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program has received an increase in reports from residents seeing mosquitoes this past February due to the unseasonably warm weather we have been experiencing. The mosquitoes are probably of the Anopheles or Culiseta variety.
“These mosquitoes are special because they overwinter as adult mosquitoes” said Rob Miller, Field Operations Supervisor for the Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program. “The warm weather has tricked them into coming out of their hibernation early.”
Both types of mosquitoes overwinter as adult mosquitoes that take shelter near our homes during winter months. They emerge on warm winter days and often appear sluggish, but could still try to bite you. They will return to hibernation if the weather turns cold again.
“These mosquitoes are more of a nuisance biter than a health threat as they do not transmit diseases such as West Nile virus or Zika virus” explained Nate Reade, Agricultural Commissioner. The best protection is to be aware that they are out and protect yourself from being bitten by wearing insect repellent and avoiding outside activities at dusk.
No large scale treatments are planned at this time because the mosquitoes are few in number and cold temperatures will likely return. However, Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program staff is actively monitoring mosquito populations and are ready to implement control measures if numbers increase.
Please report mosquito problems to the Owens Valley Mosquito Abatement Program by calling: (760) 873-7853.