How To Mosquito-Proof Your Home Amid West Nile Virus Detection

Kamari Esquerra

“West Nile virus and encephalitis are very dangerous if you get bitten,” said Tammy Gordon, Public Information Manager for Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District. “It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to make you sick.”

The West Nile virus continues to be detected in and around the Coachella Valley. 

“It’s a fairly typical season right now for the Coachella Valley. Every summer we have detections of the West Nile virus and the encephalitis virus,” said Gordon.

So far, no human cases of the illness have been reported in the Coachella Valley, but that is no reason to let your guard down. 

“What we’re really concerned about is when we start having those detections in the summertime that you’re taking the extra precautions to wear repellent and long sleeves, and also prevent mosquitoes in the first place,” said Gordon.

Prevention starts at home. 

Gordon shows how you can conduct an at-home mosquito inspection by following a few simple steps. 

The main thing is to watch out for stagnant water. 

“The number one source that we find mosquitoes breeding in households is a potted plant saucer,” said Gordon. “They tend to have water that stagnates right here and those are a huge problem for us. We recommend you not only dump it out every week, but also do a quick rub around once a week to get rid of those mosquito eggs.”

Water can also accumulate in your garden. 

 “Make sure in any of these low lying areas that get sprinklers every single day, there’s no stagnating water,” said Gordon. “So you do want to pay attention and make sure your sprinkler isn’t over sprinkling. We want to be healthy and responsible water owners.”

And fountains aren’t just attractive to the human eye, but also to breeding mosquitoes. 

“We have a lot of people that like to just turn it on when they’re outside, and if that water doesn’t turn on every 24 hours, you’re going to have mosquito problems, so make sure this is either dry or you have your pump on year round,” said Gordon. 

Finally, don’t overlook your plants. 

“We have an agave plant here, but agave plants tend to accumulate water down in this little section here. And this is a perfect habitat for mosquitoes to grow because we don’t see where they’re coming from,” said Gordon. “But just a tablespoon of water is all they need to grow right there.”

Gordon says developing this weekly routine can help to protect you and your family from the pesky, blood-sucking insects.

“Just like a chore that you have… every single week you need to go around your property and look for that water source so you can dump it out,” said Gordon.

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