To some people ticks may all look the same, but for Vector Ecologists at the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District, knowing the small differences among species can help us learn things such as the potential for disease transmission and distribution. San Mateo County is home to a variety of tick species, many of which residents are unlikely to encounter because of their highly specific habitats. Lab employees however, have the opportunity to collect ticks directly off wild animals when they are captured for disease surveys, in addition to routine tick flagging.
On September 20th, residents of District 5 (Brisbane, Colma, Daly City, San Bruno, and South San Francisco) met at the Colma Community Center to talk about their experiences with wildlife and ask questions of humane educator Kylynn Pelkey from Peninsula Humane Society and SMCMVCD public health education and outreach officer Megan Sebay.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today three confirmed deaths in California due to West Nile virus (WNV). The deceased persons were residents of Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. CDPH is unable to provide additional patient details including demographic information and name of hospital providing care to protect confidentiality.
You may think the worst you need to worry about raccoons is them getting into your garbage cans but don’t be fooled! These masked bandits also carry a potentially deadly worm called the raccoon roundworm or Baylisascaris procyonis. Round worms live out most of their lives in the raccoon’s digestive tract. The eggs are eaten when the babies are suckling and carried throughout the life of the raccoon. The male and female roundworms grow, meet, mate, and lay eggs in the raccoon’s intestines and their eggs are ejected from the body in feces, ready to find a new host.
The recent king tide, in combination with warm weather, has allowed an unexpectedly large number of summer salt marsh mosquitoes (Aedes dorsalis) to emerge in areas of the bay adjacent to Foster City, San Mateo, and Redwood Shores. These mosquitoes bite during the day and can be a major nuisance, but fortunately are not a major vector of mosquito-borne disease.
The 2016-17 San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury recently released a report titled ‘Can We See You Now? San Mateo County’s Independent Special Districts Website Transparency Update’ discussing San Mateo County special districts’ progress toward achieving the transparency standards set forth by the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) and the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF).
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reminds individuals to take precautions when entering cabins, trailers and other buildings that may be infested with rodents after the recent diagnosis of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in a Northern California man.
Mites are probably one of the most common insects on the earth and the vast majority of them have not been described yet. While the majority of them are harmless to humans and even helpful to us, there are several that are found in San Mateo County that can be a right nuisance. Most of these species are unable to invade your home without their host (usually rats or wild birds) but once there, they may bite humans if they reach a large population size or their host dies. Below are some of the most common biting mites in San Mateo County.
Did you know that there are more stinging insects than just wasps and honey bees? Stinging insects are grouped into the family Hymenoptera and are distinguished by having 2 sets of wings, a cinched “wasp waist,” and an ovipositor that has been modified into a stinger. That is about where the comparisons end however. The following article covers the incredible diversity of stinging insects and even points out a couple of the “wanna-bees” that have evolved to mimic their much more aggressive cousins.