The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can transmit various viruses, including Zika. Photo by James Gathany/CDC.

Mosquitoes capable of transmitting serious viruses have been detected in La Quinta east of Palm Springs, prompting enhanced surveillance of the infestation within the city, local vector control officials have announced.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can transmit viruses like chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever and Zika, was recently detected in an area of the city bordered by Vista Dunes Lane, West Harland Drive, Via Rosa and Sun Brook Lane. About 120 homes are within that area, according to the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District.

Starting Monday, district teams will be searching for standing water sources and other breeding sites in residents’ yards. Door-to-door inspections will begin starting Tuesday.

“Aedes aegypti mosquitoes love your home just as much as you do,” said Jill Oviatt, district public information manager. “This mosquito species prefers backyard water sources over other environments and is commonly found laying eggs in saucers of potted plants, soda cans, discarded bottle caps, bird baths and other manmade sources.”

The mosquitoes were first detected in the Coachella Valley last May, officials said. Following its initial appearance in Coachella, the mosquito has been seen in Indio, Cathedral City and Palm Springs. However, district officials say “aggressive surveillance and control activities” have been successful in reducing its prevalence in Coachella, Indio and Cathedral City, while spraying applications are scheduled are ongoing in Palm Springs.

Residents were encouraged to drain standing water and install screens on windows and doors in order to keep mosquitoes out.

–City News Service

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