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Library Workshop: Mosquito Awareness

OAKHURST — As part of his commitment to making communities safer, Madera County Vector Control District assistant biologist Trinidad Reyes will present a workshop at the Oakhurst Branch Library.

The workshop is scheduled for Saturday, July 28 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Reyes will lead the workshop, with a presentation about the lifestyle and habitats of mosquitoes. The workshop will take place in the Library’s Community Room at 49044 Civic Circle Dr., Oakhurst.

The bulk of Reyes’ job in Madera County is overseeing trapping of mosquitoes, monitoring their populations and the prevalence of diseases, designing traps and searching for more effective ways to eliminate mosquito sources. He is also involved in maintaining an active working relationship with UC Davis’ mosquito program.

“Unchecked mosquito sources can breed unreasonable amounts of mosquitoes in a relatively quick time,” Reyes notes, citing yard drains as common breeding receptacles which can produce 30 to 60 mosquitoes at week.

Some common mosquitoes Reyes will discuss are the Aedes aegypti, the primary vector for transmitting Zika and yellow fever; Culex tarsalis, also known as the Western Encephalitis Mosquito, and Culex quinquefasciatus, which transmits West Nile fever.

Reyes said the Culex quinquefasciatus is the most common mosquito in the mountain communities of Madera County, where they reproduce and thrive in stagnant water. These mosquitoes are particularly dangerous to humans if they contract the West Nile virus from birds, he adds.

According to the World Health Organization, 20 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will develop West Nile fever, but only one percent will develop West Nile Encephalitis, a serious inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues. The fever can last several weeks and cause a variety of neurological effects such as high fever, headache, vision loss and coma.

Reyes says he plans at least three studies with UC Davis’s mosquito program, including one to better understand their biting habits, along with their competency or fitness in different breeding containers, and novel ways of identifying them.

“I am always happy to help with these studies because of the direct effect it has on our understanding of the mosquito’s habits,” he  continues.

Reyes, who lives in Madera, is a family man with two young daughters who enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hiking and hunting.

The free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library. For more information, call the library at (559) 683-4838 or visit www.oakhurstfobl.com.

 

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