Quarterly Newsletter and Updates Summer 2016
New Look, Same Great Service
A newly designed logo is beginning to appear on District materials but the services we provide to Alameda County residents remain the same. The District will continue to:
- Respond to mosquito biting complaints
- Provide free mosquitofish for ornamental ponds, water gardens, animal water troughs, and neglected swimming pools
- Inspect sources of standing water for mosquito breeding
- Provide educational presentations to schools, organizations, and other groups
- Pick up and test dead birds for West Nile virus disease surveillance
To request any of these services or to learn more about the work we do please visit our website.
On June 8th, the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District Board of Trustees certified and adopted the District's Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (PEIR). This document is a comprehensive analysis of the District's ongoing operational procedures and the potential environmental effects they may generate. The production of the PEIR was a multiyear process which started in May of 2012. Since then, the District held several public scoping meetings and received input from multiple agencies and organizations including East Bay Regional Park District, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The full document is available on our website.
The mosquito responsible for the spread of Zika virus worldwide, Aedes aegypti, is currently not established in Alameda County. The potential for introduction of non-native mosquitoes, like Aedes aegypti, is always present. As a result, we are preparing for the possibility of Zika entering Alameda County by:
- Increasing surveillance for invasive Aedes mosquitoes throughout the County. Specialized traps for collecting container breeding Aedes mosquitoes (like Aedes aegypti) are scattered all around the County in nurseries, garden centers, pottery stores, cemeteries, community parks, and port distribution centers.
- Working with Alameda County Public Health Department and Berkeley Public Health Division to increase invasive Aedes mosquito surveillance in the vicinity of travel related Zika cases.
- Sending eggs of all Aedes mosquitoes collected in surveillance traps to a UC Davis laboratory to test for species type.
- Engaging community groups for help in door to door educational campaigns if invasive Aedes mosquitoes are detected in Alameda County.
What you can do help us keep invasive Aedes mosquitoes out of Alameda County:
- Inspect your yard regularly and remove any clutter or container 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 any potential mosquito eggs.
- Wear mosquito repellent when spending time outdoors.
- Talk to your neighbors - share what you know.
If you will be traveling to an area with Zika virus:
- Use insect repellent. (Look for these ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, OLE, or PMD.) Reapply as directed. Remember to apply sunscreen first and then insect repellent.
- Cover exposed skin when possible.
- Stay and sleep in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms. Use a bed net if you're sleeping outside.
- Zika can also be spread through sex, so use latex condoms if you have sex.
- 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.
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*
West Nile virus activity is increasing throughout California. However, Alameda County has not had any West Nile virus (WNV) activity yet in 2016. Reporting of dead birds by the public to the West Nile virus hotline (877-WNV-BIRD) is crucial to our WNV surveillance program. Dead birds are often the first indicator of WNV activity in Alameda County. Statewide a total of 322 dead birds, 264 mosquito samples, and 4 sentinel chickens have tested positive for WNV. These numbers are higher this year than they were at this time last year. The totals for California's WNV activity are updated weekly and can be found at www.westnile.ca.gov.
*Data as of June 29, 2016
- Alameda County Fair display in Building Q - now thru July 4th
- School Presentation (AT at Independent Elementary) - August 2nd
- Hayward Zucchini Festival - August 20th & 21st
- Newark Days Celebration - September 18th