Spring Rains Incite Mosquito Worries in California

Mosquito control officials are encouraging San Francisco Bay Area residents to safeguard against West Nile virus (WNV) after rains drenched Santa Clara County during most of March.

ABC 7 News reported online that after an unusually wet winter and spring, Santa Clara County vector control warns the year could be a record year for the virus, which is spread by the bites of infected mosquitoes (http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=local&id=4062851).

"The amount of rainfall we've experienced this year is a concern to us because clearly once we get a break in this rainfall, we are going to find standing water everywhere," Tim Mulligan of the Santa Clara Co. Vector Control District told ABC 7.

According to California's WNV web site, 10 WNV-positive birds have been collected in Clara, San Diego, and Orange Counties this year. Fifty-four of 58 California counties reported WNV detection in 2005. See the breakdown of species below.

Horse owners and residents are encouraged to reduce areas of standing water where mosquitoes can breed (they can develop from egg to adult in 10 days) and use repellents on their horses and themselves. (For more on mosquito control see www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=5954.)

2005California WNV Activity

Human Infections




Dead birds


Mosquito pools**


Sentinel chickens





About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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