In this month's District Report: wildlife feeding, tick-borne disease surveillance results, and more.
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District News

The District asks residents to report dead birds or tree squirrels to the California Department of Public Health online at Specimens that appear to have been dead for less than 24 hours and are in good condition will be tested for West Nile Virus.
bedbug feeding on human skin

Raccoons are not shy about seeking food and shelter in urban and suburban neighborhoods.


When Sharing Isn't Caring:
Wild Animal Feeding Is Risk for Humans and Animals

They're cute, they're clever, and they show up unexpectedly in backyards and parks at night. No, we don't mean the virtual creatures from Pokemon Go - we're talking about raccoons, skunks, opossums, and all the other wildlife that make their homes among humans in urban and suburban neighborhoods.

Although these animals are a natural part of the environment here in San Mateo County, finding ways to coexist with them isn't always easy. They invade attics and garages, dig up lawns, steal fruit and vegetables, scatter garbage, and pick fights with pets. Sometimes they cause more serious problems, like spreading parasites and diseases to humans.

The animals don't benefit from living among humans, either. Animals that become accustomed to humans often begin to behave boldly or aggressively, and this frequently results in the animal being trapped and euthanized. The increased contact between animals when they congregate around ample food sources leads to increased fighting and disease transmission.

Fortunately, many of these issues can be prevented with one simple change: don't feed the animals. This includes both intentional wildlife feeding (which is illegal in California), as well as accidental feeding like leaving pet food out overnight, allowing animals access to garbage, and waiting to harvest ripe fruits and vegetables. Wild animals will go where they can find a meal, so it's best to make sure your property isn't providing one.

For more information, check out our list of 10 reasons you shouldn't feed wild and stray animals.
Our Work by the Numbers

In September, District technicians:
  • Treated more than 30,000 storm water catch basins
  • Conducted 1,594 larvicide applications
  • Checked 650 properties for invasive Aedes aeygpti mosquitoes
  • Removed 105 yellowjacket nests
  • Responded to 93 requests for mosquito problems
  • Treated 47 acres of invasive cordgrass
  • Conducted 31 rodent inspections

Tick-Borne Disease Surveillance Results

for the 2015/2016 Season

Each winter, the District laboratory staff conducts tick collection at local parks and open space preserves. Last winter nearly 2500 ticks were collected from 15 locations. These ticks were tested for two pathogens known to cause disease in humans: Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease, and Borrelia miyamotoi, which causes a relapsing fever illness.

Ten of the 15 collection sites yielded enough ticks to estimate the minimum infection rate (MIR). Infection prevalence of either of the two Borrelia ranged from 2.6% to 0%, and was highest at Thornewood Open Space Preserve near Woodside.

These results are typical of the MIR found throughout San Mateo County, and do not indicate an elevated level of risk. More information on interpreting these results can be found on the District website.

Mosquito Surveillance and Control Data Updates

Visit our Mosquito Surveillance Data and Operations Statistics pages to get the latest data from our mosquito surveillance and control program.

District Financial Information for August 2016

Visit our Financial Information page for the latest District financial information, including the Consolidated Funds and Profit and Loss as of August 31st, 2016.

Snapshots from the Field

gloved hands swabbing a crow's throat
Thanks to tidal restoration projects, technicians inspect fewer acres of marsh at Bair Island each year.
herd of goats
Vector Control Technician David Allen found this California brown tarantula while responding to a service request near the coast.
man and woman in protective suits and hoods
Vector Ecologist Tina Sebay noticed this bee feeding on a thistle while trapping mosquitoes in Woodside.
helicopter and truck
Laboratory staff demonstrate the Hemotek machine used to feed the District mosquito colony.
San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District
Protecting public health since 1916

1351 Rollins Rd. | Burlingame CA 94041
(650) 344—8592 |

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San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District · 1351 Rollins Rd. · Burlingame, CA 94010 · USA

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