Wet winter bring increased threat of mosquitoes

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. A New Jersey doctor said a woman from Honduras with the Zika virus gave birth to a baby on May 31, 2016, that appears to be affected by the disease, which is spread primarily through mosquito bites and can also be transmitted through sex. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KRON) — For the past four years, the Bay Area has been dealing with drought conditions. That meant relatively little standing water on the ground and the mosquitoes tended to be concentrated near those pools of moisture. Now, after a wet winter, there is a lot of water which could mean more mosquitoes that could be carrying disease like West Nile Virus or even possibly Zika Virus.

The mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus are very good exploiting all this water, according Russ Parman, the Assistant Manager at the Santa Clara County Vector Control District.

Mosquito populations are expected to be higher than normal this year.

Parman and his team have already been out looking for standing water and trying to spot potential mosquito breeding spots.

Recent aerial surveys show about 1,500 neglected pools we’ve, according to Parman. Another 700 have been added to that number since the surveys.

In addition to trying to keep West Nile Virus under control, Vector Control Districts across the Bay Area are also on the lookout for Zika Virus.  So far, the two types of mosquitoes that spread the Zika Virus do not live in the Bay Area. They have been found in the Central Valley and in southern California, so it is quite possible these insects could show up in the Bay Area.

In addition to possibly carrying Zika Virus, mosquitoes are very annoying.

Mosquitoes bite actively during the daytime, they are very fast and persistent and aggressive, according to Parman. Even without the disease factor they are a terrible nuisance and they interfere with quality of life during the day time.

Vector Control is now asking for the public’s help in controlling the mosquito population and keeping Zika Virus out of the Bay Area.

If you have got water, flip it or drain it. If you cannot do that, call Vector Control for help resolving the problem, Parman encourages.

Vector Control also says if they find the mosquitoes that carry the Zika Virus quickly, they may be able to eradicate them before they are able to spread.

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