Mosquitoes, Ticks and Africanized Honey Bees "Killer Bees"
Mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus
What does rain and foreclosed homes have in common? Mosquitoes love them both.
Abandoned foreclosed homes, neglected landscaping and standing water the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes get the disease from feeding on infected birds and then pass it on to humans, horses and other animals.
About 80% of people infected with WNV experience no symptoms. The remaining 20% may have fevers, headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. About one in 150 develop serious illness and less than 1% die from the disease.
WNV in the United States
WNV was initially isolated to the New York City area in 1999, since then the disease has spread to 44 states and the District of Columbia. It can can also be found in all 58 counties in California. West Nile Virus is now the most prevalent mosquito-borne disease in the U.S.
How Can You Fight the Bite?
Mosquitoes breed in standing water sources, such as neglected pools, plant saucers, spare tires, birdbaths and decorative ponds. Draining the water from these sources will stop the mosquito from breeding and in turn stop them from biting you.
When you are outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active wear long-sleeved, light colored shirts and long pants. Insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, and lemon of eucalyptus oil work best.
Preparing for West Nile Virus
Free Literature - Select 'Education' or 'Media' found on the West Nile Virus - County of San Diego homepage (link below)
¡No se deje picar! - CDC
I remember picking them off after playing in the fields of Worcester County Massachusetts. Ticks are always "questing" looking for a host and once they have found one they are difficult to remove because they dig in with a barbed snout. In any case, Ticks carry diseases such as Lyme Disease and Tularemia.
While you are on your quest.
If you are hiking or walking in an area where ticks are commonly found:
1. Stay on marked wide trails
2. Walk in the center to avoid the grass or bushy areas
3. Wear long light colored clothing if you can
4. Tuck your pants into your shoes
5. Wear repellent that contains DEET
6. Check yourself for ticks during and after your hike
7. Happy Trails!
Free Literature - Select 'Education' or 'Media' found on the Vector Home Page -County of San Diego (link below)
Tick Borne Diseases
Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) "Killer Bees"
AHB are established in parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. All of San Diego County has been colonized by the AHB so you may encounter these aggressive honey bees anywhere you go. Learning about these bees and taking certain precautions can lower the risk of being injured.
The Africanized Honey Bee is closely related to the European honey bee used in agriculture for crop pollination and honey production.
Common AHB Nesting Sites
Empty boxes, cans, buckets or other containers; old tires, infrequently used vehicles; lumber piles; holes and cavities in fences, trees or the ground; sheds, garages and other outbuildings; and low decks or spaces under buildings.
1. More defensive than European honey bees
2. Respond quickly and in large numbers
3. Can sense a threat from people at 50FT and power equipment at 100FT
4. Will pursue an enemy a 1/4 mile or more
1. Examine work area before using lawn mowers, weed cutters and other
power equipment. While you are inspecing listen for buzzing indicating a
nest or swarm
2. Be alert when participating in all outdoor activities
3. Check with your doctor about bee sting kits and procedures if you are
sensitive to bee stings
If you encounter AHB
1. Evacuate area immediately
2. While running away try to protect face and eyes
3. Take shelter in a car or building. Water or thick brush does not offer much
4. Resistance is futile - Do not stand or swat. Rapid motions will cause them to
If Stung - Seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY if breathing is difficult, stung multiple times or allergic to bee stings.
*Activate 9-1-1 immediately if breathing is difficult or other serious symptoms occur.
1. Go quickly to a safe area.
2. Remove stinger as soon as possible.
3. Don't squeeze stinger;pressure will release more venom.
4. Wash sting area with soap and water.
5. Apply ice pack to relieve pain and swelling
Entomology Bees-University of California, Riverside