Mosquitoes will be out in force this year

DEET is great, but Listerine doesn't wash as a repellant
By: George deVilbiss/Special to Gold Country News Service
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With so much rain this past winter, there are massive amounts of standing water just about everywhere. And, there hasn’t been enough heat or north wind to dry it up.

That means pesky critters like mosquitoes will start waking up from hibernation as the weather warms. They’ll be hungry and looking to create a new generation.

I’ve already encountered some pretty large swarms in my area.
Standing water is a perfect spawning ground for eggs to incubate and hatch.

While we needed the rain, there will be a downside – and expected overabundance of some pests and mosquitoes.

There’s little you can do about standing water on the ground, but there is a great deal you can do around the home. Planters are notorious for holding a small pond of water, perfect for a mosquito breeding ground. Have an old tire that isn’t mounted on a rim just lying around? It will hold water that will attract mosquitoes.

Look around for other items that may hold water and eliminate the chance of the little lady mosquito finding it and rearing the next generation.

Unless they’re blown around by strong wind, mosquitoes don’t travel miles to find you. It will be in the morning and late afternoon when the critters are most active. Limit your outside activity at these times and you can limit how much you are bothered.

There was a time when the mosquito was a simple pest that caused you to itch like crazy after being bitten. Today, mosquitoes transmit diseases such as West Nile Virus.

Protect yourself with a repellant. Scientifically proven is the ingredient DEET, and the higher the concentration, the better. You’ll see a wide variety of DEET percentages when shopping for a repellant.

An e-mail going around touts Listerine as an effective repellant. Someone apparently queried about the effectiveness. The findings are that if you spray a mosquito directly, you’ll probably drown it, but overall, Listerine is ineffective.

Some people tout other products, which may work for them but not for you, such as Skin So Soft, an Avon product. If it works, stay with it.

When the wind is calm, I use a propane-powered fogger heavily around the home that so far seems to be working.

Current fishing
While breezy conditions still hit now and then and with a threat of a raindrop here and there, fairer weather is becoming much more the norm. All local rivers are still running high, so it’s best to stay off them for now.

Ocean salmon: The opener came and went. Party boats were primed, gassed and ready. However, Mother Nature stepped in with strong wind and thwarted the hopes of boat operators and anglers. The only exception I could find was Randy on the Telstar at Fort Bragg. Despite gale wind and a heavy sea, he went out and stayed only a couple of hours. They did manage to net one keeper salmon.

Bay waters: Striped bass and sturgeon are on tap throughout the flats of San Pablo Bay and all over Suisun Bay. The action doesn’t get any better than it is right now. If you don’t have a boat, get on a party boat. They’re all catching fish.

Lake Amador: Although trout remain the main fare, bass are starting to wake up and realize they’re hungry. Live crawdads should do the trick. For trout, Power Bait or a threaded night crawler will entice a bite. Limits aren’t the rule right now, though.

Camanche Lake: Management continues to plant 10,000 pounds of triploid rainbows a month, and the plants will continue through May. Trolling around the North Shore Marina region, the Narrows up to the bridge and from Hat Island to the dam area always produces well. Switch lures until you find the one they want that day. The one that worked yesterday may not work today. A threaded night crawler is always a good bet. If you want to sit on shore, numerous areas of the North Shore area are good, off points and the many coves. Power Bait, eggs and crawlers all work, and you’ll do better getting an early start.

Lake Pardee: The lake is spilling. There’s debris on the surface, so cautious boating is advised. The clarity also leaves a great deal to be desired.

Trollers are heading for the river mouth and working from there to Indian Rock. Kokanee are biting and primarily are found in the top 10 feet of water. An Apex lure tipped with white, shoe-peg corn will do the trick. Trout are in the same region, down 20 feet.

Weekly trout plants continue, and the action remains good in the Rec Area Cove. The launch ramp area, around the marina gangway, Rainbow Point and around Tom Sawyer Island are proven, productive regions. They’re reporting white Power Eggs, chartreuse garlic-flavored Power Bait with sparkles, and dark green Power Bait work best.

Contact George deVilbiss at