Mosquito season begins as Vector Control tries to keep it under control

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- It's warming up, and that means more time outside for people in the Bay Area. It's also the start of mosquito breeding season.

Mosquitoes can do more than ruin your picnic -- they can make you sick. In Concord, the fight against the pesky insect is already underway.

Vector Control yechnician Chris Doll is on a search and destroy mission, crunching his way through the brush and negotiating a steep hillside to get down to Mt. Diablo Creek in Concord -- still flowing because of all the rain this winter.

Looking down at the narrow creek bed, he said, "Right here, this a really good example of a creek becoming a good mosquito source."

Tiny fish of the Guppy family who can eat 200 mosquito larvae each day will do the actual fighting. He brings them in clear plastic bags filled with water and releases them into the creek.

The creek is not a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes -- yet.

"They like stagnant standing water with a lot of organics," Doll said.

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Nola Woods - a spokesperson for Vector Control - added, "We have 23 different species of mosquito in Contra Costa County."

Some of those species are bad news. "Two species of our 23 in Contra Costa County can transmit West Nile Virus," she said.

That virus can cause fever, body aches and vomiting in some victims. One in 150 victims can develop potentially deadly encephalitis or swelling of the brain.

Vector Control says you can help reduce the threat by getting rid of any standing water on your property. It that doesn't help, contact your local Vector Control office.

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