In this month's District Report: preparing for El Nino, a special celebration, and more.
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District News

  • Six dead birds collected in October tested positive for West Nile virus. These birds were collected in Menlo Park, Redwood City, East Palo Alto, and Atherton. No mosquito samples tested positive for West Nile virus in October.
  • The District has reduced invasive Aedes aegypti surveillance for the season. Four AGO traps and 10 ovicup traps will remain in Menlo Park over the winter. No new evidence of Aedes aegypti  mosquitoes was found in October.
  • All seasonal staff have finished their work at the District, including the Aedes aegypti team. Laboratory Assistant Erika Bueno also left the District in October to begin a PhD program.
  • Seasonal employees Sean Hayes and Walter Bruj joined the permanent staff as Vector Control Technicians.
  • The District office will be closed November 13th in observance of Veterans Day and November 26th and 27th in observance of Thanksgiving.
  • The District is seeking one resident each from Colma, South San Francisco, Menlo Park, and Woodside to serve on our Board of Trustees. Visit the District webpage for more information.
  • Starting Nov. 16th, technicians will be assigned to new zones. Updated technician information for each zone is available on the Operations Staff page of the District website.
The District asks residents to report dead birds or tree squirrels by calling (650) 344-8592 or 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.

Dengue, Chikungunya, and Invasive Mosquitoes

Chikungunya and dengue fever are two mosquito-borne viral diseases that can be transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Human cases of these diseases have been increasing in the Western Hemisphere over the past few years, including common vacation destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean.

While there has been no local transmission of chikungunya and Dengue in California, invasive Aedes mosquitoes are found in many counties in the state, including Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in San Mateo County. The presence of these mosquitoes creates the possibility of transmission when an infected traveler arrives in the county. In 2015 alone, there were more than a dozen cases of travel-acquired chikungunya and dengue in San Mateo County.

To reduce the risk of local transmission of dengue and chikungunya in San Mateo County, the District conducts surveillance for invasive mosquito species and works to eradicate invasive mosquito populations when they are found. You can learn more about invasive mosquitoes and the District's eradication program on the Aedes aegypti section of the District website

 District Centennial Celebration Scheduled

Save the date! The District's centennial celebration is scheduled for Tuesday, January 26th, 2016. The public is invited to join us at our Burlingame facility (1351 Rollins Rd.) from 3pm until 7pm for laboratory tours, demonstrations, children's activities, insect displays, and much more.

The District's mosquito control program is one of the oldest in the United States, with roots going back to 1904. Throughout the early 20th century, mosquitoes plagued the peninsula, at times to such a degree that businesses closed and property values fell. It was not until the founding of the Three Cities Mosquito Abatement District, formed in response to the California legislature's 1915 Mosquito Abatement Act, that an ongoing mosquito control program was established to protect residents' health and comfort.

Next year's centennial celebration honors the hard work and dedication by the staff and trustees of San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District and its predecessors, Three Cities Mosquito Abatement District and Pulgas Mosquito Abatement District. We hope you will join us in commemorating 100 years of mosquito and vector control in San Mateo County.

More information about the Centennial celebration can be found on the District's Calendar of Events.


West Nile Virus Risk Assessment

The California Department of Public Health generates a risk assessment level ranging from 1-5 for West Nile virus (WNV). The risk level is determined by analyzing a combination of data on mosquitoes and infection rates gathered by the District, weather patterns and the state WNV hotline. The risk levels are explained as:

Risk Rating 1.0—2.5 Normal Season, “No Alert Level”: regular district operations

Risk Rating 2.6—4.0 Emergency Planning, “Alert Level”: enhanced larval detection and control, public health officials notified, increased disease surveillance, more public outreach

Risk Rating 4.1-5.0 Epidemic Conditions, “Emergency Level”: full media campaign, physicians and veterinarians alerted, detection and investigations of human cases, continue enhanced larval surveillance and control

Preparing for a Rainy Winter

Meteorologists continue to predict that this winter's El Nino will be one of the strongest in recent history. While this is great news for California's exceptional drought, increasee rainfall can make mosquito problems worse, leading to nuisance and even the spread of mosquito-borne disease. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps residents can take to reduce mosquito problems after rain.

Check your property for anywhere standing water may accumulate. Even small amounts of standing water can breed mosquitoes, so look out for debris like empty bottles and cans, folds in tarps or vehicle covers, plant saucers and empty flowerpots, and wagons or other children's toys. Canoes and kayaks should be turned over to avoid filling with water, and larger boats should be kept covered.

Gutters and other drainage should be kept clear so water can drain away from your home. If you plan on collecting runoff in rain barrels or cisterns, be sure they're screened or tightly closed to keep mosquitoes out. Ornamental ponds and water gardens can be stocked with mosquito fish or treated with long-lasting biological products to inhibit mosquito larvae.

If you need help preparing your property for rain, contact the District for a free inspection. Our technicians can help you identify problem areas on your property and give you advice on correcting issues now before mosquitoes move in.

You can make a service request online, or call (650) 344-8592 for more information.

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. 

Our Work by the Numbers


In September, District staff:

District Financial Information for Sept. 2015

Visit our Financial Information page for the latest District financial information, including the Consolidated Funds and Profit and Loss as of September 30th, 2015. 

Snapshots from the Field

Technicians Stephanie and Ryan learn how to make simple repairs to CO2 traps.
Vector Ecologists Tina and Theresa identify mosquito samples collected in a CO2 trap.
Technician Kim shows off a black widow spider collected from a local creek.
Assistant manager Brian Weber models a new bee suit that will be used for yellow jacket removal.
San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District
Protecting public health since 1916

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