It's officially mosquito season, here are tips to protect yourself

Kern Mosquito and Vector Control is preparing for mosquito season. Part of that is taking aerial images of Kern County to find problematic areas. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

On a beautiful day, many people will choose to enjoy the sun outside, but that can be ruined by endless scratching and swatting away from mosquitoes.

The heat means it's the start of mosquito season, and after a wet winter the Kern Mosquito and Vector Control District is working to protect the community from potentially deadly mosquito-borne diseases.

Common diseases are the West Nile virus and Saint Louis encephalitis.

The district has hired 33 additional seasonal workers to help with surveying, spraying and taking aerial shots of the county. They are starting this week, trying to beat the heat before mosquito season is in full swing.

The district said all of its services are paid for my taxes, so do not hesitate to call if you want standing water checked out or have a mosquito problem.

"Anytime you have a mosquito problem at the house, give us a call," said district official Donald Sangster.

He said the goal is to make sure mosquitoes do not have a place to breed.

To keep mosquitoes away from your home, Sangster said to "minimize the amount of water they have laying around in their swimming pools or containers. Any little container in your back yard that holds a little bit of water from where the sprinklers are on can breed mosquitoes."

Sangster said mosquitoes also love dirty pools, so keep those clean. He said as it heats up, mosquitoes will spread more rapidly. The sooner you fix the problem, the better.

While the district will not clean your pool, it will use treatments like mosquito fish to kill the mosquitoes.

Sangster said mosquitoes love dirty pools, because it is likely there are no predators or pathogens.

"An unkempt swimming pool doesn't have that. It's just water and leaves, and that's the ingredients to mosquito soup. They love it, and they can breed in unbelievable numbers," he said.

Protect yourself from getting a mosquito bite by wearing light-colored clothing, long sleeves, pants and bug spray that contains DEET.

For a full list of ways you can protect yourself from specific mosquito-borne diseases, click here.

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