Sacramento Digs Gardening logo
Sacramento Digs Gardening Article
Your resource for Sacramento-area gardening news, tips and events

Articles Recipe Index Keyword Index Calendar Twitter Facebook Instagram About Us Contact Us

Watch out for 'day biters' this Halloween -- and beyond

New invasive mosquito found in Sacramento County

These are just a few of the places where water collects outside -- and where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.

These are just a few of the places where water collects outside -- and where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.

Photos courtesy of Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District

This Halloween, scary little monsters could be waiting to bite your arms and ankles – and some don’t wait until dark. They bite in broad daylight.

Mosquitoes seem to be particularly voracious this late October, ready to stick it to this evening’s trick-or-treaters. (They’ve certainly been nibbling on this gardener during late afternoons and evenings.)

Black and white mosquito
Asian tiger mosquito

An alert by the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District brings additional cause for alarm: The Asian tiger mosquito has been found for the first time in Sacramento County.

Aedes albopictus is the second invasive mosquito species to be detected in Sacramento County, joining the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Both are small, dark mosquitoes that bite aggressively during the day. And both have the potential to transmit deadly viruses.

This is how the vector experts found the first tiger mosquito, according to the district’s press release: “The initial detection came as a result of a call from a resident in Carmichael who had reported being bitten during the day. District staff conducted a backyard inspection and found a single mosquito larva in a watering can. In response to this initial finding, field technicians conducted door to door inspections in other homes throughout the neighborhood and found additional Aedes albopictus adult mosquitoes and larvae in surrounding areas.”

Both the tiger and yellow fever mosquitoes lay their eggs in all sorts of vessels – anything that can hold a few spoonfuls of water. When moisture collects in that container, the eggs hatch.

“Now that we have found this second species of invasive mosquitoes, our goal is to limit their expansion as best we can,” said district manager Gary Goodman. “We are mobilizing and responding quickly in order to protect the residents we serve.”

Besides both being day biters, both species of invasive mosquitoes can breed indoor or outdoors, making them doubly hard to control.

“They lay eggs above water in containers such as flower pots, pet dishes, bird baths, kids toys, tin cans, tires and other containers as small as a bottle cap that are commonly found in backyards,” says the vector district.

“Public cooperation is very important and we need your help,” said Goodman. “If you are being bitten by mosquitoes or notice them in your yard, please give the District a call to request a free inspection.”

Although they haven’t done it yet (at least as far as authorities know), both species can transmit several dangerous viruses including dengue, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever. To do so, the insects need to bite someone carrying that virus.

In Carmichael, vector district field technicians will conduct door-to-door inspections to look for potential mosquito breeding sites, making appropriate treatments as necessary and talking to residents about preventive measures around their home, says the district.

Feel a bite or suspect a problem mosquito? Call 1-800-429-1022 or visit

Meanwhile, wear long sleeves, long pants and mosquito repellent while outdoors. Better safe than bitten.


0 comments have been posted.

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Local News

Ad for California Local

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.

Contact Us

Send us a gardening question, a post suggestion or information about an upcoming event.