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First positive West Nile mosquito samples collected

In late May, the East Side Mosquito Abatement District (ESMAD) detected West Nile Virus (WNV) in mosquitoes collected near Lakewood Avenue and Scenic Drive in Modesto. This was the first WNV positive sample detected in Stanislaus County and the north San Joaquin Valley.

The mosquito samples were collected in a gravid trap placed overnight. So far, 12 WNV-positive mosquito samples and 15 reported dead birds have been collected in several counties statewide, including Fresno in the Central Valley, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, and San Mateo along the coast, and Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego in Southern California.

Both East Side Mosquito Abatement District and Turlock Mosquito Abatement District (MADs) urge everyone to be vigilant about reporting any standing water to the districts. The 2024 winter season brought a lot of rain, even into spring. The atypical mild temperatures that persisted into late May did help to keep mosquito activities just below normal.

District Managers Wakoli Wekesa and David Heft caution that this may be a lull before the storm; as the steep increase in temperatures this week is expected to bring an increase in mosquito activities.

The Districts, in response, are ramping up their surveillance and control activities, treating mosquito sources and collecting and testing mosquitoes for arboviruses. The Districts anticipate more WNV and mosquitoes in the coming months and remind residents they can help by taking several precautions.

Dump or drain standing water. These are places where mosquitoes like to lay their eggs.

Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn. These are the times when WNV-carrying mosquitoes are generally most active.

Protect yourself against mosquitoes by using repellants containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

Report neglected swimming pools to your local mosquito abatement district.

Use tight-fitting door and window screens to keep mosquitoes from entering your home.

Contact your veterinarian for information on vaccinating equine against WNV.

For additional information or to request service, residents should contact their local District. Stanislaus County residents north of the Tuolumne River, contact Eastside Mosquito Abatement District at (209) 522-4098 (; south of the Tuolumne River, contact Turlock Mosquito Abatement District at (209) 634-1234 (