Vector Control Expands Search For Zika Capable Mosquito In Palm Springs

Vector Control Expands Search For Zika Capable Mosquito In Palm Springs

Martín Di Felice

Palm Springs, CA

The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector control District says it’s expanding its search area for a mosquito– capable of carrying the Zika Virus in Palm Springs.

Palm springs resident Kevin Crain was at home Monday when he got a knock at the door. It was a man from Vector Control and he asked to inspect his backyard. 

"I said absolutely, have at it. I unlocked the gates, he walked around the perimeter, checked everything. We have a pretty big pool and a fountain he checked all that," said Crain. 

The inspection was free and only took about twenty minutes but the reason behind it was more than Crain expected.

Related: Vector Control Sprays Zika Capable Mosquito

"Palm Springs has become the hotbed right now of Aedes Aegypti detections in all of the Coachella Valley. The detections there are growing faster, we’re finding more of these types of mosquito in more areas than any other place in the valley," said Jill Oviatt, public information officer for the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. 

Initially Vector Control believed they knew where the mosquitoes were concentrated. But after setting a few traps last month they were surprised to see how many of those traps tested positive for the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito.

"We expanded our traps just to see if it was any where else. So just since mid-May, it’s just exploded all in the [Palm Springs] area," said Oviatt. 

So far, the mosquitoes have been found in Coachella, Indio, Cathedral City and Palm Springs. Coachella was ground zero for the Zika capable mosquito last year with an 850 acre detection zone. 

"So the fact that this is blown up in Palm Springs to eight hundred acres so quickly may say that Palm Springs is going to be our largest area yet in terms of Aedes Aegypti detection," said Oviatt.

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