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Mosquito and Vector Control Districts starting work to keep flying pests at bay

Mosquito and Vector Control Districts starting work to keep flying pests at bay
Posted at 4:51 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-01 19:51:55-04

LOST HILLS, Calif. (KERO) — April 8 marks the beginning of the season for the Westside Mosquito and Vector Control District, but their work has already started. 23ABC got an inside look at how crews around Kern County keep mosquitos at bay.

  • On Monday, Travis Bauer and Curtis Skidgel from the Westside Mosquito and Vector Control District gave 23ABC an inside look at how their team works to knock down mosquitos on the west side of Kern County.
  • Bauer and Skidgel showcased the variety of mobile traps and biological and chemical tactics that the District uses to kill mosquitos.
  • Mosquitos are certainly a pest, but they can also be vectors for disease. According to the Department of Public Health, Kern County had 19 total cases of West Nile Virus in 2023.
  • More information on the Westside Mosquito and Vector Control District can be found on the district's website.


As we broach spring and summer, you're more than likely planning a backyard barbecue at some point, and much like the smell of charcoal or propane being a facet of that — so does the sound of a mosquito buzzing past your ear. I'm Sam Hoyle, your Lost Hills neighborhood reporter, as we inch closer towards that season, crews across Kern County are working to keep those pesky bloodsuckers at bay

With a buzz in the air crews with the West Side Mosquito and Vector Control District are starting their work using a variety of traps and abatement tactics. Even using fish in some areas to keep mosquitoes at bay.

"These guys take care of any mosquito larva or pupa in the water, they'll just eat him up like it's nothing. And we'd like to use these as a first line of defense if we can, in places like this," said Curtis Skidgel, the district's foreman.

Another tactic they use is called a 'wide area larvicide spray' or WALS for short, where trucks carrying this machine on the back can go through and eradicate the nuisance..

"It's kind of like the old school days of the fog. And the only difference is this is not an adult aside. The fog was an adulticide This is a larvicide and this is the product that we use for this is all organic certified organic will not harm your animals will not harm any human beings will not do anything to anybody," said Travis Bauer, the district's manager.

For the district, obviously, their goal is to kill mosquitos, there's a bit more work that goes into it as they parse through wings to make sure what they're seeing isn't truly dangerous to Kern County residents.

"We'll take the diseased ones the ones that look like they might have blood meal, and we'll ship them up through UC Davis we're testing see if we have any West Nile virus encephalitis any of the diseases that we're worried about are in any of our traps. They'll let us know and it keeps us on the up and up."

But what about your barbecue this summer? When it comes to your home, crews said never let standing water sit anywhere around your property and something even as small as a bottle cap can become a breeding ground for the pests.

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