During the summer months, the District receives
numerous calls regarding yellowjackets and paper wasps. These
social wasps both have yellow and black markings and are common
in San Mateo County, but they have important behavioral
It’s summer and that means peak season for the dog tick and
Pacific coast tick (collectively called Dermacentor
ticks)! These large, brown-colored ticks are very prevalent this
time of year along the edge of trails and in brushy areas with
tall grass all throughout California. Unfed, they can be nearly
three times as large as the black-legged ticks that are prevalent
during the winter and spring and can engorge to the size of a
grape if left attached to repletion.
Most people have had an encounter with a flea at some point – the
jumping black specks, the small itchy bumps they leave in their
wake, and the general feeling of unease due to having a parasite
in your home. However, few people understand the biology of fleas
and why they invade our homes in the first place.
On Thursday, April 26th, 2018, San Mateo County Mosquito and
Vector Control District will hold an open house at its office at
1351 Rollins Rd. in Burlingame from 4pm until 7pm to celebrate
Mosquito Awareness Week. Visitors will have the opportunity to
meet the staff and tour the laboratory, as well as participate in
a variety of demonstrations, exhibits, and activities. No RSVP is
required for this event.
You may have heard their cries at dusk. Coyotes are
one of the most common urban carnivores in San Mateo County and
important predators of rodents. Coyotes also help control deer
and Canada geese, which can be very destructive to gardens and
grassy areas, by preying on their young and slowing their
population growth. There is also evidence that coyotes may
directly compete with raccoons, skunks and opossums which helps
to reduce the numbers of these urban carnivores as well. That
being said, coyotes can be a challenge to live with.
On April 2nd, a dead American crow collected in South San
Francisco tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the second
dead bird positive for West Nile virus found in San Mateo
County in 2018. The first was collected in February in Foster
On April 2nd, a dead American crow collected in
South San Francisco tested positive for West Nile virus. This is
the second dead bird positive for West Nile virus found
in San Mateo County in 2018. The first was collected in
February in Foster City.
During February, rodents made the news in a big way in
California. However, these weren’t the familiar rats and mice
that plague homeowners. Invasive nutria, native to South America,
had been reported in California for the first time since the
T-shirts, keychains, and new friendships make great spring break
souvenirs, but how about dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow
fever? Getting sick on vacation is bad enough, but travelers
face an even scarier prospect – bringing mosquito-borne illnesses
back into their communities.
During their regularly scheduled meeting in January, the San
Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District Board of
Trustees held elections for the positions of President of the
Board, Vice-President of the Board, Board Secretary, and
Assistant Board Secretary. The trustees elected to these
positions took office on Feb. 14th, and will serve for
As coyotes become an increasingly common sight in urban and
suburban neighborhoods, some residents have become
concerned. Although coyotes are naturally shy and elusive,
they’re also smart. Individual coyotes can learn by experience,
and unfortunately the lessons many residents are teaching
them are ones that will get them into trouble.
Human rabies infections in the United States are exceptionally
rare. However, in January a Florida 6-year-old died of the virus
after exposure to a sick bat. According to news stories, his
family was not aware of the risk of rabies.
Have you ever wondered why you don’t see many cold
blooded animals, like reptiles or insects, in frozen regions of
the world? Heat allows animals to run, jump, and think and
mosquitoes are no exception. The warmer the temperature (up to a
point), the more aggressive and hungry they get. They also
reproduce much faster which means that surges in temperature can
mean big surges in mosquito numbers.