Steve Schutz, Ph.D., scientific program manager, identifies and counts mosquitoes.
Are There More Mosquitoes This year?
Mosquitoes are ruining my backyard barbecues

Mosquito counts at this time are higher than they have been during the past five years of drought in Contra Costa County. The drought produced fewer mosquitoes, but greater virus potential.

This year there are plenty of water sources. Those, coupled with the hot weather, make the perfect opportunity for many more mosquitoes. The best we can all do is three-fold: 1) don't breed mosquitoes on our own properties, 2) wear mosquito repellent when needed, and 3) report mosquito sources and mosquitoes to our District.

A crow rests on a fence post.
Dead Bird Hotline Open for Phone Reports
Dead Bird Reports Help Find Areas Where West Nile Virus May be Transmitted
California's statewide Dead Bird Hotline is open and accepting dead bird reports by telephone. Online reports are accepted year-round. 

The hotline is an important part of the District's West Nile virus surveillance program because birds are a reservoir for the virus and when an infected bird dies, it can often be the first sign of the virus in a specific area.

Residents who find a dead bird should call the hotline at 1-877-WNV-BIRD or  enter a report online.  The District is notified of the report and a District employee will often pick up the bird for testing.

Not all birds are suitable for testing; however, each report provides crucial information for mosquito control and mosquito-borne disease detection efforts. If the Hotline operator determines the dead bird is not suitable for testing, the resident will be instructed to double bag the bird and discard it in an outside trash can. Whether or not the bird is tested, reporting it is important because it helps determine where virus activity is occurring. Our technicians can then concentrate their inspections for mosquitoes in the potential hot spot areas.

Program Supervisor Sheila Currier hangs a yellowjacket trap
Why, When, and Where to Place Yellowjacket Traps
Yellowjacket traps alleviate future nests.
Queens are looking for nesting sites, but there's an easy remedy to keep your yard free from them. Prevention is more efficient than control.
Click here to view the video.
How To Get Automatic Adult Mosquito Spraying            Notifications & Breaking News

To learn when and where we are fogging for adult mosquitoes, sign up for our spray notifications. You can interact with the map and learn each and every street in our spray zone each time. 

Want breaking news such as when we find West Nile virus or other mosquito-borne diseases? Sign up for our automatic emails delivered right to you.  You choose which publications you wish to receive.

Got a minute for the latest one-minute videos? 

Community Affairs Representative Nola Woods answers a question we get often: How can I save rain water without producing mosquitoes?
Join Vector Control Inspector Steve Fisher as he inspects a residential property for rats and mice. You might be surprised to learn how rats and mice can enter your home or how easily the signs of entry can go unnoticed.

Mosquito control has its challenges. One is getting access to the water where mosquitoes thrive. Watch Vector Control Technician Brandon French explain his efforts on location. 
This year nature reminded us about the correlation between water and mosquitoes. Now that the drought is over, mosquito populations are plentiful.

With all of the reports from residents, I arrived at our laboratory today like a character in a horror movie, ready to fight the swarm of creatures that escaped from their traps, eager for a blood meal from me.

I found none.

Well, I did find creatures, but the lifeless mosquitoes just lay in petri dishes under microscopes while the ecologists identified and counted them.

The statistically valid conclusion from our scientific staff is, it's springtime in a non-drought year. Ample rainfall, for the first year in several, has led to ample mosquito populations.

As I write, our technicians are busy preventing and controlling mosquitoes. We appreciate the calls from residents to help us pinpoint their locations. And we appreciate all help in dumping standing water to prevent future populations.

Drought or not, mosquito control matters.

Be safe.  Be well. 


  Deborah Bass
  Public Affairs Manager
  Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control


May 5, 2017
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Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control