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Blog post

Midges Annoy But Don’t Bite

During spring, the District sometimes gets reports of flying insect swarms. These insects look a lot like mosquitoes, but are actually a different type of insect: midges.

The good news is that these midges don’t bite, don’t carry any diseases, and are harmless to humans. The bad news is that, as many of you have already found out, they can be really annoying! They’re often seen in large swarms, and may gather around outdoor lights or on the sides of buildings.

Press release

From California Department of Public Health: Spring Break Travelers Reminded to Protect Themselves against Zika
CDC Considers Travel to Mexico, Latin America a Potential Risk for Infection

Sacramento, CA – March 20th, 2017

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) advises spring break travelers vacationing in warmer climates to protect themselves from mosquito bites and avoid unprotected sex in areas with known transmission of the Zika virus.

“Spring break is the perfect time to have fun in the sun, but it is important that people take precautions to prevent Zika,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Unfortunately, the mosquitoes that spread Zika enjoy warm weather too.”

Publication

March 2017 District Report

In this month’s District Report: Silver Dragon XI, spring break travel and mosquitoes, and more.

Click here to read the March 2017 District Report.

Blog post Megan Sebay

Sand, Sun, and…Skeeters?

If you’re planning spring break travel, plan for mosquitoes!

Popular spring break destinations like Mexico and the Caribbean are included in the CDC’s list of areas with active Zika virus transmission, and may also be under travel advisories for other mosquito-borne illnesses like chikunguna, dengue, and malaria. A full list of travel advisories from the CDC is available at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.

Blog post Theresa Shelton

Rainy Weather and Mosquitoes

Do wet or dry years create more mosquito problems?  One might immediately assume wet years because mosquitoes need water to breed.  On the other hand, droughts create pools and puddles in water bodies like rivers and streams that would otherwise be flowing too strongly for mosquitoes to utilize.  The reality is both weather patterns cause different types of mosquito control challenges.

Publication

February 2017 District Report

In this month’s District Report: rain brings mosquitoes, a new Vector Ecologist, and more.

Click here to read the February 2017 District Report.

Post

Bird Species Commonly Affected by West Nile Virus

Some bird species are more likely to be affected by West Nile virus than others. These six species are the most commonly found infected in California, but any wild bird species can be reported for testing.

 

 

 

Post Theresa Shelton

Tularemia
An infectious disease transmitted by ticks

Tularemia, rabbit or deerfly fever, is a relatively rare bacterial disease transmitted to humans and animals by the bite of ticks. It is much less common that Lyme disease in California and is primarily transmitted by the American dog tick (Dermacentor variablis) and possibly by the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis).

Post

New Vector Ecologist
Biologist Tara Roth joins the District Laboratory

Tara Roth joined the District on January 9 as a Vector Ecologist.  Tara recently completed a Ph.D.

Post Theresa Shelton

Tick Surveillance
2016-2017 Winter Season

The District laboratory is taking advantage of breaks in rainy weather to collect ticks from parks and open space areas in San Mateo County.   Ticks are collected by dragging a tick flag – a large white piece of flannel attached to a wooden rod – over the vegetation alongside trails.  The main target species of tick is Ixodes pacificus, the western black-legged tick, which vectors Lyme disease, Borrelia miyamotoi infection, and anaplasmosis.  The ticks collected will be tested for the presence of bacteria that cause these diseases.  The Ixodes pacificus ticks are in

Publication

January 2017 District Report

In this month’s District Report: 2016 by the numbers, biting black gnats, and more.

Click here to read the February 2017 District Report.

Press release

San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District Awarded District Transparency Certificate of Excellence
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District Awarded District Transparency Certificate of Excellence

Burlingame, CA – 9 January 2017

In recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance, San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District has been awarded the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF).

Blog post

Bugs That Bug You: Western Conifer Seed Bug

Today a resident brought in an insect she’d found on her live Christmas tree. She was concerned that it might be a kissing bug, the insect vector of Chagas disease.

Fortunately, the specimen was not a kissing bug. It was a western conifer seed bug, a minor tree pest to conifers – like Christmas trees! These bugs aren’t harmful to humans, and can be gently relocated outside if found indoors.

 

Publication

December 2016 District Report

In this month’s District Report: year-end WNV data, holiday office hours, and more.

Click here to read the December 2016 District Report.

More than Gifts Under the Tree
Blog post

More than Gifts Under the Tree
Live Holiday Trees and Insect Pests

If your holiday decorating plans include a live tree, prepare yourself for the possibility of a few unwanted visitors.

No, we don’t mean your opinionated uncle – we’re talking about bugs. Your live tree has spent several years growing outdoors on a tree farm where it served as a home for all kinds of insects, spiders, and other creepy-crawlies. Most of them probably dropped off before your tree arrived at your home - especially if it was shaken to remove loose needles or shipped from far away - but a few may have hitched a ride inside.

Blog post

Learning More About California’s Bats

On November 1, Stanford researcher Dr. Jon Flanders gave District staff an informative presentation on bats. Dr. Flanders is currently conducting bat research at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, in Portola Valley. He shared his knowledge of bats in general, as well as the current findings of bat tracking in Jasper Ridge. In collaboration, the District provided him with mosquito monitoring data for the area that can be analyzed in conjunction with the bat data. 

Publication

November 2016 District Report

In this month’s District Report: tick season begins, mosquito impostors, and more.

Click here to read the November 2016 District Report.

Blog post

Another Mosquito Impostor: the Plume Moth

A tan plume moth rests on a white wall.

As invasive Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes increase their range in California, the District is always on the lookout for these species in San Mateo County. We always appreciate residents’ help in watching for these invasive mosquitoes, but so far in 2016 (fortunately!) none have been found.

Commands