Blog

Overview

Blog

Blog post

New Trustee for City of San Mateo

The District would like to welcome Mr. Ed Degliantoni to the Board of Trustees. He is a retired businessman, resident of San Mateo for 47 years, and 36-year member of the San Mateo Elks Club.

Vector Ecologist Tina assembles one of the new, experimental mosquito traps.
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Building a Better Mosquito Trap

The District uses a variety of mosquito trap designs to monitor mosquito populations and detect disease. One of these is the collection bottle rotator (CBR) trap. This trap is used when we need to know what kind and how many mosquitoes are active at different times of day. It contains several separate collection bottles and can be programmed to collect mosquitoes in intervals of one or several hours.

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Board of Trustees Vacancies: Cities of South San Francisco and San Mateo

Ever wanted to be on our Board of Trustees? If you live in San Mateo or South San Francisco, this is your chance! Read the information below, then contact your city clerk’s office to apply.

Publication

July/August 2015 District Report

In this month’s report: West Nile virus risk assessment, National Preparedness Month, and more.

Click here to read the July/August 2015 District Report.

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Insect ID: Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Last week our laboratory staff identified this spicebush swallowtail caterpillar for a resident. False eyespots, like those on this caterpillar, are used to ‘trick’ predators into believing that the caterpillar is actually a reptile or something else not suitable for a snack.

You can learn more about false eyespots from BBC Earth.

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September is National Preparedness Month

You’re not prepared unless you’re prepared for vectors and vector-borne disease after a disaster!

For example:

Press release

From California Department of Public Health: California Department of Public Health and Yosemite National Park Take Preventive Measures in Plague Investigation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sacramento, CA – Aug. 14, 2015

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today announced that the department, working closely with Yosemite National Park, successfully reduced the risk of plague transmission at Crane Flat Campground in Yosemite. The campground, which had been closed for four nights to allow for rodent burrows to be treated for fleas, is reopening today. The treatment controlled potentially plague-infected fleas which could spread the disease to humans and other warm-blooded hosts. 

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Bugs that (Probably Don’t) Bug You: Ten-Lined June Beetle

Ok, so the ten-lined june beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata) probably won’t bug you, but it made for an interesting insect ID in our District laboratory this week. Adult beetles are as much as 0.75″ long and may make a hissing noise when disturbed.

Learn more about the ten-lined june beetle.

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Bugs that Bug You: Zombie Fly

The District laboratory recently encountered something horrifying: a zombie.

Last week, trustee Wade Leschyn from Belmont brought in a wasp and several larvae that were identified as Apocephalus borealis, the zombie fly. This parasitic insect lays its eggs in bumblebees, paperwasps, and honeybees. When the eggs hatch, the larvae proceed to feed on the host’s nervous system, causing it to engage in bizarre behavior such as walking in circles, becoming inactive during the day, and leaving their hive at night.

Press release

From California Department of Public Health: California Department of Public Health Investigates Human Plague Case
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sacramento, CA – August 6, 2015

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today announced the department is investigating a case of human plague in California, and conducting an environmental evaluation in the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park and the surrounding areas.

Event

Community Meeting: Rodent Prevention and Control in San Carlos

Residents of San Carlos who are experiencing rodent problems (or who don’t want to experience rodent problems) are invited to a special community meeting on Monday evening, Aug. 3rd, at 6pm at the San Carlos Library, 601 Elm St.

For more information or to RSVP, visit the Facebook event page.

Press release

From California Department of Public Health: CDPH Confirms First Human West Nile Virus Death of 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sacramento, CA – July 20, 2015

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today announced the first confirmed death in California due to West Nile virus (WNV). The deceased person was a senior citizen in Nevada County.

“This death is a tragic reminder of how severe West Nile virus disease can be,” said Dr. Smith. “West Nile virus activity is more widespread in 2015 than in years past. Californians need to be vigilant in protecting themselves.”

Press release

From California Department of Public Health: West Nile Virus Activity Increases Throughout California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sacramento, CA – July 8, 2015

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today announced that the level of West Nile virus (WNV) activity is on the rise throughout the state.

“While there have been no human cases of West Nile virus reported so far this year, it is only a matter of time before we see the first case,” Dr. Smith said. “As people go outdoors to enjoy the warm weather we’ve been experiencing, we’d like them to be safe and know how to protect themselves against West Nile virus.”

Publication

June 2015 District Report

In this month’s report: West Nile virus risk assessment, helicopter treatments for mosquito larvae, and more.

Click here to read the June 2015 District Report.

Blog post

Bugs That Bug You: Confused Flour Beetle

This beetle was found helping itself to a resident’s pantry. Our District entomologists identified it as a confused flour beetle - a type of darkling beetle commonly found infesting grain, flour, and other dry goods.

Despite its name, the confused flour beetle doesn’t seem to be disoriented. It may have gotten its name from the fact that it is easily mis-identified as a similar species, the red flour beetle.

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District Interns Study Mosquito Development

This summer the District laboratory is hosting two interns, Andrew Tierno and Kayvon Solaimanpour. Andrew and Kayvon are in 11th grade at The Harker School in San Jose. They’ll be doing experiments on the effect of population density, nutrient scarcity, and pesticide exposure on Culex mosquito larvae.

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Water Conservation Measures at the District

Our facilities technician Paul has recently found a way to help the District conserve resources: using water from our fish breeding facility to water the landscaping around our office.

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Bugs That Bug You: False Chinch Bug

False chinch bugs are still abundant in our area right now. Our laboratory staff took these two photos of a specimen brought in by a resident this week.

False chinch bugs don’t bite humans or animals, but may cause damage to gardens and lawns when they appear in large numbers. For help with false chinch bugs, visit the UC Davis IPM page.

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Bugs That Bug You: Week of June 8th, 2015

This specimen was brought in by a resident and found to be a tropical rat mite. Rat mites are parasites of – you guessed it! – rats, but may feed on humans when rodents are not available. They sometimes become a problem for humans following the removal of a rodent infestation. Rat mite bites may cause an itchy allergic reaction, but they are not currently known to carry any disease affecting humans.

 

Commands