SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – Amid an explosion of non-native “ankle-biter” Aedes mosquitos across the Southland this summer and fall, Orange County is trying out a new treatment to combat the insects.
The O.C. Mosquito and Vector Control District Thursday was using an A1 Super Duty larvicide sprayer to spray out a mist with an organic bacteria at Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana.
“What we are doing tonight is a wide area larvicide spraying,” Heather Hyland with OCMVC told CBSLA Thursday.
Scientists hope the non-toxic larvicide will settle in outdoor vases where a newer breed of mosquito from Asia are thriving. The new breed is aggressive and it breeds indoors as well.
“We have our native species, the Culex, which comes out at dusk and dawn, and now we have the Aedes mosquito, which comes out to bite during the day,” Hyland said. “So we have our ankle-biter, the Aedes mosquito, and our barbecue biter, the Culex mosquito.”
The Culex can carry West Nile Virus. While the Aedes does not carry WNV, it does carry several other diseases.
“They (Aedes) do transmit diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, yellow fever and Zika,” Hyland said.
While the mosquito season peaked in June, the numbers have not come down like OCMVCD would like. Next week the district will be spraying in Buena Park, Anaheim and Garden Grove.
“I’ve noticed they’re a little more aggressive and I’m seeing a larger number of them in my backyard especially,” Santa Ana resident Keith Sabala said.
According to the latest numbers, 261 samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus in O.C. so far this year. Nine people have been infected with WNV.