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Mosquitoes bring out awareness

One neglected pool can produce millions of mosquitoes. Report a neglected pool to the district hotline at 1-800-429-1022.
(Photo courtesy Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District)

Use time at home to inspect for threats

Hear the buzz? Recent warm weather (after a little spring rain) brought out the mosquitoes – just in time for Mosquito and West Nile Virus Awareness Week.

The annual observance, scheduled for April 19-25, serves as a major educational campaign by the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. Since public health is on everyone’s mind these days, the emphasis this year is the health risks associated with mosquitoes.

They don’t spread COVID-19; that’s one good thing. But this notorious pest can transmit several debilitating and potentially deadly diseases such as West Nile virus, which has become a constant threat in California.

“Also of concern is that last year, the invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti was detected in different areas of Citrus Heights within Sacramento County,” says the district. “Invasive mosquitoes pose a significant health threat because they are capable of transmitting dangerous viruses including Zika, dengue fever and chikungunya.”

We’re heading into prime mosquito season. Temperatures are expected to hit the 80s for several days, starting later this week.

“As temperatures warm up, conditions will be perfect for mosquitoes to thrive,” said district manager Gary Goodman.

While sheltering in place, inspect your garden for potential mosquito breeding grounds.

“We are all spending most of our time at home, so remember to drain any water from flowerpots, bird baths, tires, dog dishes and other small sources where water can accumulate and breed mosquitoes,” Goodman said. “Reducing mosquitoes now will go a long way later in the season.”

Details and more mosquito-fighting tips: .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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