Quarterly Newsletter and Updates Spring 2019
Spring is here and that means it's time for spring cleaning. All the rain we received this winter and the warm weather following is the perfect recipe for mosquito breeding. Items in your yard can be an ideal place for mosquitoes to grow. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard make sure to tip over any containers that are holding or could hold water. If you have a pond, water through, or neglected swimming pool, we can provide you with free mosquitofish. Checking your yard weekly is an easy way to make sure that your spring is mosquito free!
Our District was well represented at the annual conferences of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC) and the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) this year. Four of our employees presented posters and two employees gave presentations at the MVCAC conference which was held in Burlingame. We also had four employees attend and present at the AMCA conference held in Orlando, Florida. Topics presented included pesticide resistance testing, mosquito trap efficacy, our unmanned aircraft systems program, and interagency collaborations.
AI Use for Larval Surveillance
Recently, our laboratory staff has been utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to try to develop a new way to survey mosquito larvae. The AI analyzes a video taken with our Unmanned Aircraft System, also known as a drone, and tracks the moving objects visible in the video. To be able to do this, the AI has been trained beforehand with images of mosquito larvae and pupae. This is an option we are exploring to hopefully increase efficiency and reduce some of the work load for our employees.
West Nile Virus
We have not detected any West Nile virus (WNV) activity in Alameda County so far this year. During the winter we continued to test birds and will resume testing adult mosquitoes capable of transmitting the virus as we increase our adult surveillance. The mosquitoes most effective at spreading WNV are more common in the summer months and reduce their activity once the rainy season sets in. However, mosquitoes can breed all year long in the Bay Area. With the high amount of rain we have received and the warm weather following, residents are strongly urged to be proactive by dumping, draining, or covering all sources of standing water. If you come across a dead bird please report it online at www.westnile.ca.gov.