Blog

Overview

Blog

Blog post

Seasonal Catchbasin Program Continues

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.

Blog post

Staff Adapt to Coronavirus Safety Precautions

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 room.

Publication

June 2020 District Newsletter

New from the District in June: Rabbits Face Their Own Virus Outbreak

Click here to read the June 2020 District Newsletter.

Blog post

Local Bees and Wasps: A Case of Mistaken Identity

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. 

Publication

May 2020 District Newsletter

New from the District in May: ‘Murder Hornets’ in the Pacific Northwest

Click here to read the May 2020 District Newsletter.

Blog post

West Nile Virus Season Begins

Surveillance for West Nile virus began in California in mid-April. The District protects residents from this mosquito-borne disease with control methods that target mosquitoes in the larval stage, as well as mosquito population monitoring, disease surveillance and public education.

Blog post

Giant Asian Hornets in the US

You may have heard the news lately that a new invasive insect dubbed the “Murder Hornet” has been spotted in the United States. They are more commonly known as Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia), and are the largest species of hornet in the world. The queens can be almost 5 cm long (nearly 2 inches) and they nest almost exclusively underground. This species is native to temperate and tropical east Asia and far east Russia where they live in low mountainous regions and forests, completely avoiding plains.

Press release

California Mosquito and Vector Awareness Week Serves to Remind Residents of a Different Threat to Public Health
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Apr. 20th, 2020

While your mind is likely on a different virus right now, San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District, along with the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC) and mosquito and vector control districts across the state, are observing California Mosquito and Vector Awareness Week this week. While they do NOT transmit COVID-19, mosquitoes do transmit other diseases, including West Nile virus.

Publication

April 2020 District Newsletter

New from the District in April: Staying Safe at Home

Click here to read the April 2020 District Newsletter.

Blog post

Wide Area Larviciding Demonstration at Alameda County Mosquito Abatement

The talk lately in the mosquito industry has been about the spread of Aedes aegypti and ways to suppress the populations in California. One of the pieces of equipment that districts have been utilizing to fight this invasive mosquito is the A1 Super Duty larvicide sprayer. The sprayer combines high volumes of air, with low volumes of finely atomized liquid larvicide to treat backyard-breeding habitats in counties that have Aedes aegypti.

Blog post

Transitioning from our Redwood City Shop to Burlingame

It is the end of an era.  District staff has been hard at work removing everything from our recently sold property in Redwood City to the building we are leasing a few doors down from our current office in Burlingame.  Everything is fitting nicely in the new facility and it has been great having a place to store our airboat inside.  This move has opened more parking for our staffs’ personal vehicles, which has created more parking spaces for the public to utilize at our main office.  It is sad to see the old building go but it is much more convenient having our entire di

Blog post

Mosquito Inspections at Commercial Construction Projects

In March, our district was contacted by a project manager of a commercial construction project to conduct an inspection for potential mosquito breeding sites.  Cities require approval from different entities to sign off on projects before they are finalized to ensure they are not causing issues for particular agencies.  If we identify potential problems during our walk through, the project manager will work with the construction company to fix the issues.  During these inspections, we typically find potential breeding habitats to occur in the storm drain system.  In the

Blog post

Shelter in place…but be aware of vector-borne disease threats at home!

As Californians hunker down for another month of sheltering in place, many may choose to spend more time in their own backyards or take on some neglected outdoor projects. The District would like to remind residents to be aware that there may be dormant threats from vectors around residential areas and that they should take some precautionary measures to protect themselves.

Press release

San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District Takes Steps to Protect Staff and Public from COVID-19
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Mar. 18th, 2020

San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District is taking proactive measures to protect its staff and residents by taking action to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Announcement

Service Modifications due to COVID-19

In an effort to comply with the March 16th, 2020 public health order, we will be reducing staffing and limiting our operations to essential functions only. The District office is closed to the public.

Publication

March 2020 District Newsletter

New from the District in March: Go Away, Gophers!

Click here to read the March 2020 District Newsletter.

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Studying Mosquito Parasites

District staff are assisting in a collaborative study on a mosquito parasite that is spearheaded by researchers from Stanford University and the University of Innsbruck in Austria. The parasite is a ciliate type of protozoa, Lambornella clarki, which is a single-celled animal that lives in water. Lambornella clarki is found in water that collects in tree holes, and can enter the body of the mosquito larvae of Aedes sierrensis, the western tree-hole mosquito. Inside the mosquito larvae, it multiplies and kills the hosts.

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Staff Take CPR & First Aid Training

In February, district staff participated in CPR and First Aid training that included an online course with simulated scenarios and a day of performing CPR and First Aid on test dummies. Every 2 years our staff renews their certification that helps keep them safe and prepared to assist others in case of an emergency. Since our staff does spend a portion of their workday in remote parts of San Mateo County, we find this training to be of the utmost importance to their health and safety.

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MVCAC Legislative Day

On March 4th, District Manager Dr. Chindi Peavey and trustees Donna Rutherford and Wade Leschyn, along with other members of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California, went to Sacramento to talk to our local legislators about the importance of mosquito control in California. Curious what they had to say? See this year’s Legislative Day materials.

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Go Away, Gophers!

Rats aren’t the only rodent pests Recently our district received a gopher service request from a homeowner in Pacifica looking for advice on how to eliminate them from their property. During the inspection, Vector Control Technician Ryan Thorndike identified multiple gopher burrows on the caller’s front lawn. This gopher problem is affecting the whole neighborhood and the local park nearby.

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