Shasta County authorities are warning that disease carrying mosquito breeds have appeared earlier this year, meaning a longer mosquito season is likely and a longer risk for humans to contract West Nile.
Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District has been working to get an early handle on the mosquito population, but it turns out the warm spring hasn’t helped.
In fact, counts appear to be above the five-year average and similar to what they were last year, which was a bad year for mosquitoes.
What's more, the district said Monday they're seeing disease carrying mosquitoes about a month earlier than usual, “Which is a cause for concern because typically we have a longer spring season and the mosquitoes aren't as much as a disease concern,” said Peter Bonkrude, general manager of the mosquito and vector control district.
When you're talking about West Nile virus, the longer the season the more chance there is for someone to get bitten. Bite prevention is key
Although the first cases of West Nile virus were detected in Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties last week, the Northstate has yet to see one.
Bonkrude encourages people to prevent mosquito bites, saying it only takes one to contract West Nile virus.
Precautions include applying repellents such as DEET, avoiding the outdoors during the early morning and evenings, wearing long sleeves and pants outside and eliminating standing water around homes.