Invasive mosquito species in the Coachella Valley
Aedes aegypti is capable of transmitting serious viruses
A mosquito species capable of transmitting viruses such as chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika has been detected in the Coachella Valley. While there is no reports of local mosquito transmission of these viruses at this time, the District is working proactively to reduce the chances of future local transmission. In addition to our routine surveillance program, the District is actively monitoring for invasive Aedes mosquito species and carrying out enhanced surveillance and control activities as per the District Invasive Mosquito Species Response Plan in an effort to eliminate them before the species becomes established here.
What you can do to help prevent invasive Aedes
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is black and white, bites during the day, and is smaller than most of the Valley's local mosquitoes.
- Please report any supsected invasive mosquitoes to the District at (760) 342-8287 or online by submitting a Service Request. Some local mosquito species do bite during the day; however they may not be invasive species. Please report all daytime mosquito biting activity so field staff may conduct an inspection.
- Dump and drain standing water in bird baths, buckets, plant saucers, tires, outside toys, and other containers weekly.
- Clean and scrub any containers that have held water, as eggs can survive for months while dry and hatch when water is reintroduced.
What you should know about viruses that invasive Aedes can potentially transmit
Several factors are necessary for Aedes-transmitted viruses to become a significant health threat in the Coachella Valley. First, an invasive mosquito species (Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus), capable of transmitting these viruses must be present and established in a community. Second, a person who has contracted either chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, or Zika virus and is currently infectious would have to be bitten by one of these local invasive mosquitoes. Given the low numbers of both invasive aedes detected in the Valley and the low numbers of reported human-related travel cases in the area, the current risk to area residents is low.
Avoid bringing mosquito-borne viruses home
If chikungunya, dengue, or Zika is spreading in a country you will be visiting, you and your family are at risk of getting sick from mosquito bites when you visit. Follow these steps to prevent mosquito bites and prevent potentially starting local transmission of these viruses in the Coachella Valley:
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use insect repellents that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contain DEET, IR3535, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone (methyl nonyl ketone). Always use as directed.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women can use all EPA-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
- Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children older than 2 months of age. To apply, adults should spray insect repellent onto hands and then apply to a child’s face.
- If it might be difficult to find recommended repellent at your destination. Pack enough to last the entire trip.
- Stay and sleep in screened-in and air-conditioned rooms whenever possible or sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.
- Mosquito netting can be used to cover babies younger than 2 months old in carriers, strollers, or cribs to protect them from mosquito bites.
For additional information
Protecting Coachella Valley from the dangers of mosquito-borne disease is a community effort. Join us. Protect Coachella Valley and Fight the Bite. Together! For more information, contact the District at (760) 342-8287 or contact us.