If you take walks in the early morning or evening
you may have recently seen clouds of fluttering insects rising
from the ground. They don’t fly well, but when backlit by the
sun, it makes you think of quiet days sitting by a lake in the
In September and October, the district was having trouble
penetrating vegetation with a granular larvicide in Mills Field
(San Bruno) that was breeding mosquitoes. Staff decided to set up
a sprayer that would put out a high volume of liquid larvicide
that would push through the cattails and into the water. Mills
Field is usually a helicopter treatment site with 32 acres of
mosquito breeding habitat. This year, most of the water had dried
up, leaving a 5-acre ditch which did not warrant the cost of a
Many people may not know that there was a time, not long ago,
when malaria was more than a disease you only worried about when
traveling. Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease resulting from a
parasite that causes fever, chills and flu-like symptoms that can
progress to liver and kidney failure, or even coma and death in
the worst cases. There are four protozoa that can cause the
disease: Plasmodium falciparum, P. malariae,
P. ovale and P. vivax. All four of these
parasites are carried by mosquitoes in the genus
Today (Oct. 1st) the District laboratory collected
mosquitoes in the area where
a dead crow infected with West Nile virus was found earlier
this week. These mosquitoes have all tested negative for West
A dead American crow collected from South San
Francisco earlier this week has tested positive for West Nile
virus (WNV). This is the first indication of the presence of WNV
in San Mateo County since 2018.
In August, San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control
District’s Board of Trustees voted to approve the selection of
Brian Weber as the new District Manager. Weber will take over for
Dr. Chindi Peavey, who is retiring after five years as District
Manager, on October 1st.
If you’ve been grocery shopping less frequently, cooking from
scratch, and keeping more food at home lately, you’re not alone -
and you might not be alone in your kitchen, either. Stored foods
can become infested by several species of moths and beetles,
collectively known as pantry pests.
San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District has been
awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in
Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers
Association after submitting its Fiscal Year 2018/2019
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (available at https://www.smcmvcd.org/cafr) for review. The
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was judged by an impartial
panel to meet the high standards of the program.
Beaches are popular among San Mateo County residents this summer,
including our local bees. District staff responded to a request
in June to identify bees nesting on a beach in Pacifica that were
flying in and out of small holes in the sand.
The District works to control mosquitoes in our county because
they are disease vectors and aggressive biting pests. However,
there are several mosquito species that are not known to bite
people. One of these infrequently-encountered mosquitoes is
called Orthopodomyia signifera. It breeds in the holes
of trees that hold water year-round and feeds exclusively on
Our seasonal catch basin program has been up and running since
mid-April. Our first seasonal employee started on April 20th.
Currently we have six seasonal catch basin drivers working from
East Palo Alto to Daly City. On an average day, one driver can
treat anywhere between 400 and 800 catch basins. Basins are
treated with BVA-2, a material similar to mineral oil which coats
the surface of the water and prevents mosquito larvae in the
water from breathing. The material dissipates after a few days.
In May, our staff sprayed 37,821 catch basins.
District staff has been doing a great job adapting
to the ever-changing coronavirus guidelines. Currently our vector
control technicians are showing up to work with a fresh uniform
on each day, getting in their work trucks at 8 am, and heading
out to the field. We have a staff meeting online twice a week
using the Microsoft Teams app to help coordinate work for the
week. This has been a great feature because gives us the ability
to connect with all of our staff at one time in a virtual meeting
The Asian giant hornet may be all over the news, but residents of
San Mateo County are far more likely to encounter our local
species of bees and wasps. As the weather warms up, these
insects become more active and more numerous in yards.
Although capable of stinging, most species are non-aggressive,
and only sting defensively when their nests are threatened.