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Mosquitoes

Information about the Environmental Health Department Urban Biology Division's Mosquito Control Program, Obtaining Mosquitofish, Mosquito Surveillance, and Mosquito-borne Disease.

Mosquito Control Program

Reporting Mosquito Habitat

  • Call 311 if you see any mosquito habitats or potential breeding sites
    • 311 takes requests for mosquito control from Albuquerque and Bernalillo County residents.
  • Allowing conditions favorable to mosquito breeding is prohibited under state and local ordinance; standing water must be prevented, drained or treated to ensure that mosquitoes are not breeding. Remember, drain and cover open containers!
  • Mosquitoes breed in shallow, stagnant water such as ponding areas, swimming pools that are not maintained, empty containers holding water, etc.
  • Properties in violation of these laws, or other areas of standing water should be reported so that vector control technicians can enforce compliance and abate mosquito breeding.

Requesting a Mosquito Spray

  • Call 311 to request a spray of your area
    • 311 takes requests for mosquito control from Albuquerque and Bernalillo County residents.
    • Be prepared to provide your contact information and exact address for the requested treatment

Registering for the No-Spray List

  • To register for the no-spray list, call 311.
  • Residents who don't want their property sprayed can register for the No-Spray List.
    • Recommended for those who keep bees on their property or manage/maintain organic certified farms
  • A 1000-foot buffer is maintained around the property as a no-spray area. This list is specifically maintained as part of the mosquito control program; other pesticides may be applied in the area by different agencies for different purposes.

Obtaining Mosquitofish

  • Mosquitofish eat mosquito larvae as part of their typical diet.
  • Mosquitofish can be used in ditches, ornamental ponds, bird baths, watering troughs or retention ponds to control mosquito breeding.
    • Most efficient when they are placed in permanent structures where they can survive from season to season.
  • Distribution by the City of Albuquerque is typically from June through September.
  • Mosquitofish are distributed for free at designated distribution centers.
  • Call ahead to make sure the distributor near you has mosquitofish in stock.

Mosquito Surveillance

Have you seen these in or around your neighborhood?

UBD - CDC Light TrapUBD - CDC Gravid Trap

No need for alarm, these are mosquito traps used in the mosquito surveillance and disease testing program.

  • Trapping season is from May through October
  • There are 18 sites throughout Bernalillo County concentrated near the Rio Grande
  • Allows for detection of high populations of mosquitoes
  • West Nile Virus tests are performed on species capable of disease transmission

Mosquito-borne Disease

West Nile Virus (WNV)

  • WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans through the bite of a mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus and Culex tarsalis).
  • WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into fall. In the southern climates where temperatures are milder, West Nile virus can be transmitted year-round.

Symptoms

  • A majority of infected people (70-80%) do not show signs or symptoms of infection
  • 1 in 5 infected people will develop mild symptoms which include:
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Body aches
    • Joint pain
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Rash
  • Less than 1% of infected people will develop sever symptoms associated with encephalitis or meningitis which include:
    • High fever
    • Headache
    • Neck stiffness
    • Disorientation
    • Coma
    • Tremors
    • Seizures
    • Paralysis

*Individuals over 60 years old or those who are already immunocompromised are at greater risk for sever symptoms.

Prevention

  • The City of Albuquerque has a joint program with Bernalillo County for mosquito control.
    • Call 311 to report high mosquito population areas and standing water or to request a spray of your neighborhood.
  • Use insect repellents containing DEET when outdoors. Always follow the direction on the product.
  • Avoid outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
    • If unavoidable, use repellents, wear long sleeves and pants
  • Keep your property free of mosquito breeding habitat
    • Empty standing water containers on a regular basis, even pet dishes and bird baths, remember the phrase: drain and cover!

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Zika Virus

  • Zika virus is most commonly spread through the bite of a mosquito.
  • The mosquitoes responsible for transmission, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are NOT found in Bernalillo County.
  • The Urban Biology division performs active surveillance and watches for these mosquitoes.
  • Zika can also be spread by:
    • Mother to fetus
    • Unprotected sex
    • Blood transfusion
    • Laboratory/healthcare exposure

Symptoms

  • Many people will not show symptoms or will only show mild symptoms
    • Fever
    • Rash
    • Headache
    • Joint Pain
    • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
    • Muscle Pain
  • See a doctor if you exhibit these symptoms and have been to an area with a risk of Zika, this is especially important if you are pregnant

 

Prevention

  • Plan ahead when traveling to Zika risk areas
  • Mosquitoes that carry Zika are active during the day; not just dusk and dawn. Use insect repellents containing DEET when outdoors. Always follow the direction on the product.

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Heartworm

Dirofilaria immitis, the dog heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that invades the heart and lungs of its host. Although uncommon; cats can also become infested.

Heartworms are transmitted from one animal to another through the bite of a mosquito

Symptoms

  • Collapse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Convulsions
  • Diarrhea/vomiting
  • Blindness
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Sudden death

Prevention

Visit your veterinarian and have your dog tested. Dogs should be on heartworm prevention medication year-round.

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