The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District is one of five vector control districts in Los Angeles County. Year-round, the agency monitors stagnant water sources, such as gutters, storm drains, channels and non-functional swimming pools. The agency also routinely monitors populations of adult mosquitoes using traps and tests groups of adult female mosquitoes for the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne diseases.
The Antelope Valley Mosquito Abatement District was formed on August 21st 1958, through action taken by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, as a result of a petition submitted by the residents of the Antelope Valley. Governing power is vested in a five-member Board of Trustees whose members represent the citizens of Palmdale, Lancaster, and Los Angeles County. The District works under the authority of the California Health and Safety Code §2000-2093.
Since its formation, the District has increased its size from approximately 178 square miles to over 287 square miles, including the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, as well as Quartz Hill. In August of 1994 the name was changed to Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (AVMVCD).
The Antelope Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District is a "Independent Special District" (government entity) that is funded by a benefit assessment charged to each parcel within District boundaries. As a special district we are able to collect a benefit assessment fee and property taxes to raise the money we need to operate the District. This way we can provide our service free of any additional charges to the entire community within our boundaries.
From the beginning, the District was dedicated to informing the public about mosquito-borne diseases and joined the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California to benefit from the gathered information of the other Vector Control Districts in California.
Our goal at AVMVCD is to reduce the number of mosquitoes within our District boundaries and monitor and reduce outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile Virus. This is achieved by utilizing an Integrated Vector Management (IVM) program, as well as a public education and outreach program. This includes the use of environmentally safe insecticides to control mosquito larvae, physical elimination of mosquito breeding sites, introduction of mosquito-eating predators (such as the mosquito-fish "Gambusia affinis") and scientifically-based pest and disease surveillance systems.
In 1999, with the arrival of the Africanized Honey Bee (AHB) or so-called “Killer Bee” in the Antelope Valley, the District included limited control of AHB’s to our services. After reviewing the program in 2017, the Board of Trustees determined that the bee program was a distraction from the primary focus of mosquito surveillance and abatement – especially given the spread of invasive Aedes aegypti and the threat of diseases like Zika virus, dengue fever and yellow fever in California.
Bees are very beneficial and are a vital part of the ecosystem. Most of the time, people encounter swarms of bees that cluster on a tree branch (see picture). These are bees that are resting and are usually not aggressive and will move on within a day or two if left alone. We recommend residents contact either a beekeeper (www.avbeekepers.com) or a licensed pest control operator if they have a problem.