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Mosquito bites pose health risks
Mosquito r
letin Aaron Devencenzi of San Joaquin Mosquito and Vector Control District is seen with Janet Dyke, Ripon Rotary President Brett Nixon and SJ County Supervisor and Rotarian Chuck Winn. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Mosquitoes are out for blood.

That was the message Ripon Rotarians learned from guest speaker Aaron Devencenzi of the San Joaquin Mosquito and Vector Control District.  Ripon Rotarian Janet Dyk thanked Devencenzi for responding to the aid of her husband Daryl when he was bitten by a West Nile Virus mosquito at his south Manteca ranch. He is one of nine in San Joaquin County that has been infected this year in addition top birds that have been killed with the virus.

Dyk recalled that Devencenzi had come to their ranch and set up traps and analyzed the mosquitoes on their property.

He noted that there are 17 different species of mosquito in San Joaquin County today.

Mosquito fish are currently being made available to the members of the public to put into their green swimming pools and bird baths and those of neighbors who also need to be aware of the mosquito danger. Another breeding area can be watering troughs for cattle and horses on area ranches.

“We need your help because in California we are limited to the chemicals we can use to control them,” Devencenzi said.

When there is non-compliance to the district’s orders to clean up a pool or other breeding locations, the district does have the power to levy fines as much as $1,000.

He said he has been with the district for 22 years and has never seen anyone fined because residents usually comply when they understand the situation.

He said the district operates on a $7.5 million annual budget with most coming from property assessments. It is an independent special district governed by a board of trustees, covering 1,400 square miles including seven cities and unincorporated areas.

The most prevalent mosquitoes in San Joaquin County, the Culex, thrive in natural and manmade sources of highly organic water including drainages, underground sumps, dirty or neglected swimming pools and containers.  Other Culex species thrive in cleaner water like animal water troughs and collected rain water.

Most can develop from egg to biting adult in five to seven days.  Some species fly only short distances but others may fly up to 10 miles in search of a blood meal and are active from dusk to dawn.

Devencenzi pointed out that these mosquitoes feed primarily on birds but also bite humans and are major vectors of West Nile Virus, Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, and St. Luis encephalitis viruses.

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To contact Glenn Kahl, email