Another impact of California's wet winter: Mosquitoes are finding perfect breeding grounds where there's standing water.
Experts say the presence of mosquitos can often peak in the month of June in the Bay Area.
Residents can minimize the impact and get help courtesy of tax dollars.
"We're looking at all stages of mosquito larvae and pupa in here," said vector control technician Brad Ball.
Tiny eggs can quickly multiply and turn into a pesky problem for a neighborhood.
"Everyone's backyards were full of mosquitoes and mosquito eaters, said Novato resident Cathie Becker. "More than ever in the past."
Becker realized a nearby pool, filled by the winter storms and neglected because of ongoing home construction, had become a major breeding ground for mosquitoes.
"They were coming into the house, on the dog," said Becker.
That's when, for the first time, she and neighbors called the Marin Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District, a tax-payer-funded service.
"Whether it's marshes or creeks, hidden residential areas and backyards, I'm looking in standing water for mosquito larvae," said Ball. "If I find any I'm going to treat it accordingly."
An easy solution for technicians is to introduce mosquito larvae-eating fish into small fountains or chemical tablets to treat a large neglected pool.
"A lot of these mosquitos can vector diseases to humans like West Nile virus and all kinds of other stuff," said Ball.
"Anything from backyards with containers full of water, creeks, ditches, catch basins. Anything that can hold water most likely is," said Nizza Sequeira of the Marin Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District.
The most practical way to minimize mosquito breeding is to eliminate any standing water around homes.
"All it takes is to flip [a bucket] upside down so the next time it rains it won't collect water," said Ball.
For homeowners like Becker, she's doing her part, so her community has one less thing to worry about.
Marin Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District says calls for service have increased by 85% from this same time last year.
For a full list of things to check around the house, like clearing rain gutters, head to our website KPIX.com for a link.
Here are some ways residents to help minimize mosquitoes around their yards:
- Clear debris from drainage ditches to allow water flow.
- Use a sump pump to remove standing water that may have accumulated under your home.
- Maintain swimming pools and spas.
- Remove tarps, trash, containers, tin cans, jars, buckets, etc.
- Recycle or dispose of old tires.
- Clean rain gutters.
- Dump water from items stored outside, including kiddie pools, wheelbarrows, bird baths and plant saucers.
- Properly screen or seal rainwater harvesting containers.
Marin and Sonoma County residents can report suspected sources of mosquito production or mosquito problems to 707-285-2200 or online at www.msmosquito.org
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