Is the Zika virus a threat to Southern California? While this devastating illness has had the biggest effect on people living in South America, those of us living in Southern California may not be completely immune to its effects. Knowing how to protect yourself can help keep you and your family safe.
How is the Zika virus transmitted?
Zika virus is transmitted by a type of mosquito called Aedes mosquito, which can be found in Southern California. Aedes mosquitos are notable for their black-and-white striped bodies and for the fact that they bite during the day.
They’re a particularly aggressive mosquito that can breed in tiny containers of water. In the past, Aedes populations have been slow to spread in southern California, but in 2015, the populations in the southern half of the state grew and have been found in Los Angeles county. Some types of Aedes mosquitoes can also carry diseases like yellow fever.
While the probability of Zika virus spreading to Southern California is low, the mosquito is found in our area. However, our relatively dry weather and dry air is unfavorable for the mosquito population in general.
What can you do to protect your home and family?
The best way to protect yourself from mosquitos that could potentially carry the Zika virus is to keep mosquitos out of your home and away from your property. Follow these recommendations:
- Get rid of unnecessary standing water. Remember, mosquitos breed in water, and they don’t need a lot of water in order to breed. Take care of any leaks in your home, fix dripping faucets and check the area around your home for potential breeding sites like old tires or even low lying areas where irrigation run off may collect.
- Use window screens to keep mosquitos out. Good window screens are one of the most effective tools you have for keeping mosquitos out of your home.
- Watch out for mosquitos that bite during the day. Remember, most mosquitos bite at dusk and at night. Mosquitos that bite during daylight could potentially be Zika-carrying mosquitos. If you notice mosquitos out in the daylight, this could be a bad sign. Take your family members in the house, or apply bug spray if you must stay outdoors and try to determine where they might be breeding and get rid of it .
- Use EPA approved mosquito repellent. Always follow instructions for application, and be careful when applying mosquito repellent to young children. Always follow age recommendations given by the manufacturer.
What kind of screens will prevent mosquitos from entering your home?
Screens that are specifically labeled insect screens, and that specifically state they will keep out mosquitos, are the best type of screens to install for mosquito prevention. It’s also important to keep your screens in good repair because mosquitos can enter from any break or gap in the screening. Replacement window screens are inexpensive and you can install them yourself or have the frame of the screen – re-screened by a professional.
In Southern California, the greatest threat to window screens is the sun. Normal fiberglass screens deteriorate quickly and can develop holes in just a few years. Aluminum screens hold up much better in our climate and can last for years.
Tashman Sells Quality Window Screens & Screen Doors
Window screens and screen doors have been our speciality here in Los Angeles since opening our doors in 1961. Whether you want to install new, custom-made screens or replace old or damaged screening, we carry any screen type you could possibly want and if we don’t have it in stock, we’ll order it.
We want our customers to be safe from mosquitoes and the potential diseases they carry and we’re proud to provide the people of Los Angeles with screens that promote good health, protect personal belongings and help keep children safe. For more information regarding mosquito-proof screens and replacement window screens and screen doors, stop by Tashman Home Center (7769 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046) or give us a call at (323) 498-2417 to set up an appointment. We have an experienced and knowledgable staff and we’d be happy to help mosquito-proof your home just in case the Zika virus should make its way to Los Angeles.
For additional information about the Zika virus: