The District staff has been hard at work inspecting and treating
their seasonal rainwater impounds for mosquitoes such as
Aedes squamiger, the winter salt marsh mosquito. This
mosquito can fly up to 20 miles. It is an aggressive, day-biting
mosquito, and can be a major pest to humans. Throughout San Mateo
County, there are 245 sites that are inspected weekly by our
staff starting now and continuing into May, depending on how much
rainfall we get during this time period.
In December, we started working on reducing the number of site
visits in the neighborhood where Aedes aegypti was
discovered in 2013. We are taking a cautious approach to this
reduction by reclassifying the sites that have not had any
mosquito detections in the last 2 years. This change will allow
us to continue to view the sites in our database, but they will
not fall under our current inspection protocol of 4 visits a
year. Currently we have 888 Ae. aegypti sites in this
Living in California, we often welcome the rainy season as a sign
that we won’t have to turn the water off while we soap up in the
shower, but did you know that there are many insects that welcome
the rain as well? Outside, the influx of water may trigger some
insects to hatch from eggs, others to begin searching for food,
and still others to spread out and seek new places to live.
On November 15th, our district hosted a Bed Bug Training with the
City of San Mateo’s Code Enforcement Division. The training was
provided by Nader Shatara who is a Senior Environmental Health
Inspector for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The
City of San Mateo Code Enforcement recently took over responding
to bed bug complaints for properties that are 4 units or more.
The biggest concern with Bed Bugs is they feed on humans while
they sleep and can cause allergic reactions because of the saliva
injected during feedings.
In November, Field Supervisor Casey Stevenson and Vector control
Technician Walter Bruj attended The West Coast Rodent Academy in
Irvine, CA at the University of California’s South Coast Research
and Extension Center. The workshop included lectures, hand-on
activities and break-out sessions with industry professionals
that helped us gain a better understanding of rodent ecology and
integrated pest management (IPM).
Everyone likes to be cozy in the winter, and neighborhood
wildlife is no exception. Animals like raccoons, opossums, and
skunks can find it hard to resist the tempting warmth of your
attic or crawl space. Now is a great time to check your
vents and other openings to make sure they’re tightly sealed
against animal intruders. Don’t forget areas under decks and
porches and on top of roofs – skunks are great at digging and
raccoons love to climb. Even your pet door can provide access to
an inquisitive animal if left unsecured at night.
As fall turns to winter and the weather gets wetter, you may be
spending less time in your garden, but mosquitoes will be making
themselves right at home. In San Mateo County, our weather never
gets cold enough to completely stop mosquitoes from reproducing,
even on our chilliest days. Items that can hold rainwater
for more than a few days – everything from wheelbarrows and
wagons to plant saucers and kids’ toys – can quickly become
habitat for thousands of mosquito larvae.
In some parts of the country, the weather is getting cooler and
tick season is winding down. Here in San Mateo County, however,
tick season is just beginning. Ticks become abundant shortly
after the first rain of the season, and continue questing through
the winter and spring. Adult western blacklegged ticks, our local
Lyme disease vector, are most abundant December through May,
while adult Pacific coast ticks and American dog ticks are most
abundant in the spring and early summer.
When the temperatures start to change and the nights become
colder, you may begin to notice six-legged visitors coming inside
your home. As we shutter our doors and windows to keep out the
cold, the humidity rises indoors. This elevated humidity
can attract insects and arthropods, including tiny insects called
Collembola, or springtails.
Eastern equine encephalitis virus, often termed EEEV or Triple-E,
has been making headlines lately in the United States. This
mosquito-borne virus can cause a sometimes-fatal brain infection.
With 31 cases and 9 deaths this year to date, this is the worst
outbreak of EEEV disease since the US began monitoring the
disease 15 years ago. While those numbers sound scary, EEEV
disease is relatively rare. An average of 7 human cases of
EEEV disease are diagnosed in the United States annually.
Earlier this month, San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control
District was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for
Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance
Officers Association after submitting its Fiscal Year 2017/2018
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (available at https://www.smcmvcd.org/2018cafr) for review. The
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was judged by an impartial
panel to meet the high standards of the program.
San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District’s 2018
comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) has been awarded the
Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of
Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting. The
Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in
governmental accounting and financial reporting, and
its attainment represents a significant accomplishment.