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

Skeeter season arrives with bad mosquitoes, West Nile Virus

Don't make a home for disease-carrying pests; take precautions

Overwatering a vegetable garden can result in small ditches filled with standing water.

Overwatering a vegetable garden can result in small ditches filled with standing water.

Kathy Morrison

No matter the temperature, it’s time for long sleeves and pants – especially if you’re outside at dawn or dusk.

June is the start of mosquito season in Sacramento, and this week’s news is not good. The first mosquito sample of the season tested positive for West Nile Virus, a potentially deadly disease.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District took the sample in the city of Isleton. A second sample from Sacramento (zip code 95833) also tested positive.

“As we expected, the very warm weather we’ve had recently increased the number of mosquitoes and accelerated virus activity,” said district manager Gary Goodman in an official statement. “It’s important for residents to take these findings seriously and do everything they can to protect themselves.”

So far, four dead birds – two scrub jays, a magpie and a crow – in Sacramento County have tested positive for West Nile including two just before Memorial Day weekend. Those two were collected near Florin Road in south Sacramento in zip code 95828. The other dead birds were found in 95829 and 95833.

Last year in California, there were 225 confirmed human cases of West Nile, including 15 fatalities, says the district.

In response to the positive samples and dead birds, the district increased trapping and monitoring around Isleton and Sacramento in an effort to pinpoint where mosquitoes may be breeding. Targeted ground spraying may be used to quickly kill breeding adult mosquitoes.

Goodman urged residents to take proper precautions – including long sleeves and pants when mosquitoes are most active. And the use of insect repellent.

“Summer is around the corner and as more people enjoy outdoor activities it’s important to remember that the best protection against mosquito bites is an effective insect repellent,” said Goodman. Residents also are encouraged to report dead birds, neglected pools and other mosquito problems by calling the district hotline at 1-800-429-1022.

In the meantime, don’t give mosquitoes a place to call home. Empty any standing water that may have accumulated around your home in such spots as flower pots and saucers, kids’ toys or old tires. Make sure screens on doors and windows are snug.
Sacramento and Yolo county residents can receive email notifications of upcoming mosquito treatments for their neighborhoods. The listings are available by zip code.

To get on the mailing list as well as the latest mosquito news, go to


0 comments have been posted.

Taste Summer! E-cookbook


Find our summer recipes here!

Newsletter Subscription

Sacramento Digs Gardening to your inbox.

Local News

Ad for California Local

Thanks to our sponsor!

Summer Strong ad for

Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of Oct. 1:

Make the most of this cooler weather. Get to work on your fall garden:

* October is the best month to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Plants become established – sending down deep, strong roots – faster in warm soil.

* Divide and replant perennials. Add a little well-aged compost and bone meal to the planting hole, but hold off on other fertilizers until spring. Keep the transplants well-watered (but not wet) for the first month as they become settled.

* Now is the time to plant seeds for many flowers directly into the garden, including cornflower, nasturtium, nigella, poppy, portulaca, sweet pea and stock.

* Plant seeds for radishes, bok choy, mustard, spinach and peas.

* Plant garlic and onions.

* Set out cool-weather bedding plants, including calendula, pansy, snapdragon, primrose and viola.

* Reseed and feed the lawn. Work on bare spots.

* Dig up corms and tubers of gladioli, dahlias and tuberous begonias after the foliage dies. Clean and store in a cool, dry place.

* Treat azaleas, gardenias and camellias with chelated iron if leaves are yellowing between the veins.

* Clean up the summer vegetable garden and compost disease-free foliage.

* Harvest pumpkins and winter squash.

Taste Spring! E-cookbook


Find our spring recipes here!