The District laboratory currently collaborates with the Stanford Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease to test mosquito samples collected internationally for diseases such as chikungunya and dengue fever.
Ants are common household pests. They don’t carry disease, but can be annoying.
Argentine ants are the most common cause of ant invasions indoors, but other species may cause problems in this area. Knowing which ant is causing your issue is important, since different ant species have different food preferences and will take different types of bait. For ant identification and control information, contact the District laboratory at (650) 344-8592.
Mites are small pests barely visible to the naked eye. In California, the most common biting mites include the tropical rat mite, the northern fowl mite, and the chicken mite. They feed on rodents, birds, and fowl and occasionally infest homes and bite humans once their host has left the area.
Some mite species may also be found outdoors. These mites do not typically infest homes, but people may be bitten while spending time outdoors, especially in tall grass or brush.
Although many people are afraid of spiders, virtually all the spider species found in San Mateo County are harmless to humans. Unlike mosquitoes, which seek out and feed on people, spiders have no interest in biting us, and will only do so in self-defense.
Spiders that find their way indoors can be gently relocated outside (you can scoop them up using a piece of cardboard and a container, or vacuum them up and empty the canister outside), or squashed if you prefer. Sealing up cracks and other entrances to your home will keep spiders, as well as other pests, from coming inside.