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 2016
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.
If your holiday decorating plans include a live tree, prepare yourself for the possibility of a few unwanted visitors.
No, we don’t mean your opinionated uncle – we’re talking about bugs. Your live tree has spent several years growing outdoors on a tree farm where it served as a home for all kinds of insects, spiders, and other creepy-crawlies. Most of them probably dropped off before your tree arrived at your home – especially if it was shaken to remove loose needles or shipped from far away - but a few may have hitched a ride inside.
On November 1, Stanford researcher Dr. Jon Flanders gave District staff an informative presentation on bats. Dr. Flanders is currently conducting bat research at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, in Portola Valley. He shared his knowledge of bats in general, as well as the current findings of bat tracking in Jasper Ridge. In collaboration, the District provided him with mosquito monitoring data for the area that can be analyzed in conjunction with the bat data.
As invasive Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes increase their range in California, the District is always on the lookout for these species in San Mateo County. We always appreciate residents’ help in watching for these invasive mosquitoes, but so far in 2016 (fortunately!) none have been found.
1. Wild animals don’t need your help.
Wild animals may show up looking for a handout, but they don’t really need help from humans to find food. Their natural diet is healthiest for them, and ‘human food’ can even make them sick.
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today called on the people of California to help reduce the number of mosquitoes by eliminating standing water, especially in areas that have recently had rain and continue to experience warm temperatures.
September 28th is the 10th annual World Rabies Day, an observance planned to raise awareness about rabies prevention worldwide.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects mammals, including wildlife, pets, and humans. It is most commonly transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Here in California rabies is mostly found in bats. Rabies infections in domestic animals, like cats and dogs, are sometimes diagnosed after a pet has been bitten or scratched by a wild animal like a skunk or fox.