San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District Recognized as “District of Distinction”
Burlingame, CA – 21 April 2017
San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District received the “District of Distinction” accreditation by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) for its sound fiscal management policies and practices in district operations. The District is the first mosquito and vector control district in California to be designated a District of Distinction.
Some of you may have noticed a large number of insects in the air lately. Most of these are midges; harmless creatures that are a natural part of the ecosystem. But what is a midge and why are they here in such large numbers this year?
Open House Planned at San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District
Burlingame, CA – 3 April 2017
On April 18th, 2017, San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District will hold an open house at its office at 1351 Rollins Rd. in Burlingame from 4pm until 7pm. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet the staff and tour the laboratory, as well as participate in a variety of demonstrations, exhibits, and activities. No RSVP is required for this event.
During spring, the District sometimes gets reports of flying insect swarms. These insects look a lot like mosquitoes, but are actually a different type of insect: midges.
The good news is that these midges don’t bite, don’t carry any diseases, and are harmless to humans. The bad news is that, as many of you have already found out, they can be really annoying! They’re often seen in large swarms, and may gather around outdoor lights or on the sides of buildings.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) advises spring break travelers vacationing in warmer climates to protect themselves from mosquito bites and avoid unprotected sex in areas with known transmission of the Zika virus.
“Spring break is the perfect time to have fun in the sun, but it is important that people take precautions to prevent Zika,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Unfortunately, the mosquitoes that spread Zika enjoy warm weather too.”
If you’re planning spring break travel, plan for mosquitoes!
Popular spring break destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean are included in the CDC’s list of areas with active Zika virus transmission, and may also be under travel advisories for other mosquito-borne illnesses like chikunguna, dengue, and malaria. A full list of travel advisories from the CDC is available at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
Do wet or dry years create more mosquito problems? One might immediately assume wet years because mosquitoes need water to breed. On the other hand, droughts create pools and puddles in water bodies like rivers and streams that would otherwise be flowing too strongly for mosquitoes to utilize. The reality is both weather patterns cause different types of mosquito control challenges.
Some bird species are more likely to be affected by West Nile virus than others. These six species are the most commonly found infected in California, but any wild bird species can be reported for testing.
Tularemia, rabbit or deerfly fever, is a relatively rare bacterial disease transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of ticks. It is much less common that Lyme disease in California and is primarily transmitted by the American dog tick (Dermacentor variablis) and possibly by the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis).
The District laboratory is taking advantage of breaks in rainy weather to collect ticks from parks and open space areas in San Mateo County. Ticks are collected by dragging a tick flag – a large white piece of flannel attached to a wooden rod – over the vegetation alongside trails. The main target species of tick is Ixodes pacificus, the western black-legged tick, which vectors Lyme disease, Borrelia miyamotoi infection, and anaplasmosis. The ticks collected will be tested for the presence of bacteria that cause these diseases. The Ixodes pacificus ticks are in
San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District Awarded District Transparency Certificate of Excellence
Burlingame, CA – 9 January 2017
In recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance, San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District has been awarded the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF).
Today a resident brought in an insect she’d found on her live Christmas tree. She was concerned that it might be a kissing bug, the insect vector of Chagas disease.
Fortunately, the specimen was not a kissing bug. It was a western conifer seed bug, a minor tree pest to conifers – like Christmas trees! These bugs aren’t harmful to humans, and can be gently relocated outside if found indoors.