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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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Garden Checklist for week of July 14

Your garden needs you!

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to reduce the chance of fungal infection and to conserve moisture.

* Feed vegetable plants bone meal, rock phosphate or other fertilizers high in phosphate to stimulate more blooms and fruiting. (But wait until daily high temperatures drop out of the 100s.)

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week.

* Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more. Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* It's not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers.

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