Quarterly Newsletter and Updates Fall 2017
The Official Start of Fall
The end of summer doesn't mean the end of mosquito season for us in the Ba y Area. Although the intermittent rain we have experienced recently may not have been enough to keep your garden green, it is enough to create standing water for mosquitoes to breed. The best way to reduce mosquito populations in your area is to dump and drain any standing water. For ideas on places that commonly breed mosquitoes see our backyard checklist .
Mosquitoes can breed in sources of water as small as a bottle cap and complete their life cycle in about a week . Regular inspections of your property for areas where water may be accumulating are necessary to keep your neighborhood mosquito free. If you are bothered by mosquitoes and cannot find or eliminate the source of standing water where they are breeding, call our office at (510) 783-7744 or visit us online at www.mosquitoes.org to request service.
Coastal Cleanup Day
Mosquitoes need standing water to complete their development from an egg to an adult. When trash and debris collect in our waterways they can form pockets of stagnant water creating an ideal habitat for mosquito larvae. This year several District employees participated in the 2017 California Coastal Cleanup Day held at locations throughout the Bay Area. Reducing mosquito habitat has been an important part of the District's mosquito control program since we were first formed in 1930.
Mosquito Surveillance Projects
The Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District Lab continues collaborating with Madera County Mosquito & Vector Control District, where Aedes aegypti is established, on developing new methods to trap and kill invasive Aedes mosquitoes. Together, we are evaluating updated oviposition trap designs and comparing Mosquito Magnet® Traps with BG-Sentinel Traps for capturing and killing Aedes aegypti. With the help of funds from a CDC grant, the Lab maintains an invasive Aedes trap network in Alameda County that consists of over 650 oviposition traps, whose distribution is concentrated in high risk areas where concerns with mosquito breeding are greatest. In doing so, we aim to discover invasive Aedes mosquitoes, should they arrive in Alameda County, before they become established and difficult to eradicate. Quantifying the resistance of mosquitoes to insecticides is crucial for identifying the most effective product for killing mosquitoes, should a public health need arise (e.g. native mosquitoes harboring human pathogens such as West Nile virus). Current efforts are focused upon Culex pipiens (the common house mosquito) and Culex tarsalis (the Western Encephalitis mosquito), both of which can efficiently transmit West Nile virus to people. The results of these studies will be presenting at an upcoming annual meeting of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California.
Local transmission of Zika virus occurred in both Florida and Texas in 2016. Although there are many communities in California where the mosquitoes capable of transmitting Zika have been found, the disease has not been spread locally. This year, 85 California residents (Source:http://bit.ly/2spj5To) have acquired Zika virus while travelling abroad. It is important to always protect yourself from mosquito bites wherever you may be.
What you can do to help keep invasive Aedes mosquitoes out of Alameda County:
- Inspect your yard regularly and remove any clutter or containers that may hold water.
- If you store water, make sure all containers are tightly covered to keep mosquitoes out.
- Scrub outdoor containers that have held water with hot, soapy water to kill mosquito eggs.
- Wear mosquito repellent when spending time outdoors.
- Do not bring home items that have held standing water (tires, containers, bromeliads, bamboo, etc.) from areas with invasive Aedes mosquitoes. Click here to see areas in California with invasive Aedes.
If you will be traveling to an area with Zika virus:
- Use insect repellent. Look for these ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or para-Menthane-3,8-diol (PMD). Reapply often, as directed on the product label. Remember to apply sunscreen first and then insect repellent.
- Cover exposed skin when possible.
- Stay and sleep in screened-in rooms or use a bed net.
- Watch for symptoms after you get home.
- Call your doctor immediately if you suspect Zika.
- Use insect repellent for 3 weeks after travel.
- Use condoms when you have sex for at least 6 months.
Pregnant? Trying to conceive?
Zika is linked to birth defects. Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to any area with Zika. If your male partner travels to these areas, either use condoms or don't have sex for the rest of your pregnancy.
West Nile Virus*
The West Nile virus (WNV) season in California is not over yet. The first WNV related human fatalities were confirmed at the beginning of September and that number has already risen to 8. The mosquitoes capable of transmitting West Nile virus will remain active until the cold weather sets in. Dead birds can be reported through the state West Nile virus, dead bird, and mosquito hotline, (877) WNV-BIRD, until October 13th or through the internet all winter long at http://www.westnile.ca.gov/report_wnv.php. Statewide totals for WNV activity in 2017 are 395 dead birds, 235 sentinel chickens, 3116 mosquito samples, and 211 humans cases. The totals for California's WNV activity are updated weekly and can be found at www.westnile.ca.gov.
*Data as of September 29, 2017
- Alameda County Fall Home & Garden Show (Alameda County Fairgrounds) - Friday, October 6th to Sunday, October 8th
- California State University East Bay Science Fair (CSUEB Campus, North & South Science buildings and Valley Business & Technology Center, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward, CA 94542) - Saturday, October 28th 11am-4pm