Evidently, a substantial increase in disease-carrying mosquitos is expected in California this year, as the Los Angeles Times reports below. We hate to break it to you, but mosquitos don't stop at state lines. Even if you're not in California, you're not off the hook yet. The ubiquitous nature of these pests makes it challenging enough to swat them away to escape the itching, never mind to avoid potential grave illness. Chris Conlan, an ecologist with the San Diego County Vector Control Program, says that "more so than ever, we really need the public's help in eliminating the standing water sources to make sure they don't become more of a problem." To address the root of the problem, we also need the public's help in eliminating carbon dioxide contributions to the climate crisis. Most health professionals will agree that preventing disease trumps curing it. This is why we must work toward climate solutions to slow the spread of diseases.
By Joshua Emerson Smith I January 3, 2015
Two types of nonnative mosquitoes that can transmit potentially fatal diseases have spread throughout California, and their populations could explode come spring.
The mosquitoes' expansion of territory was largely attributed to abnormally warm weather in the summer and fall.
"It was quicker and more widespread than any of us could have anticipated," said Chris Conlan, an ecologist with the San Diego County Vector Control Program.
The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can carry diseases linked to birth defects, painful illness and tens of thousands of deaths around the world each year.
The mosquitoes can be identified by their black-and-white striped bodies and aggressive behavior toward people, often following them indoors. These pests are smaller than average mosquitoes and distinguish themselves as daytime feeders. They're tough to eradicate, needing as little as a thimble of water to reproduce.
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