Quarterly Newsletter and Updates Spring 2018
West Nile Virus Activity on the Rise
This year, West Nile virus (WNV) was detected earlier in Alameda County than it has been in several years. Four birds and seven groups of mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV in Alameda County so far. The District has intensified efforts to locate and treat areas of standing water where the WNV positive birds and mosquitoes were discovered. The mosquitoes most effective at spreading WNV are more common in the summer months so every effort needs to be made to avoid mosquito bites. Residents are urged to be proactive by dumping, draining, or covering all sources of standing water and wearing mosquito repellent containing either DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 when spending time outdoors. If you come across a dead bird please report it by calling (877)WNV-BIRD or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
Keeping an Eye Out for Mosquitoes
With summer in full swing, so is the District's mosquito abundance assessment program. A network of mosquito traps cover Alameda County to collect larval and adult mosquitoes. The collected mosquitoes are identified to species and if appropriate tested for the presence of viruses. Knowing the number and type of mosquitoes present in an area helps to focus our mosquito control efforts.
In addition to traps that help us track mosquito numbers, we also have traps that are specifically designed to collect invasive mosquito species. Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are not native to California but have established themselves in the central and southern parts of the state. Our traps will hopefully alert us if these mosquitoes come our way.
Summer Mosquito Awareness
The most effective way to control mosquitoes is to prevent them from breeding in the first place. Mosquitoes can grow in as little as a bottle cap of water. Often we forget about the variety of places water can collect in our own yard. Checking for standing water on a weekly basis and dumping it out is a great start to a mosquito free summer!
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program Launched
Our District strives to protect public health and the quality of life in Alameda County by effectively and efficiently managing the risks from mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease. The advancements in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) presents a more cost-effective and precision-based tool that can be used to enhance larval mosquito detection and public health pesticide applications. As such, the District recently purchased its own UAS and two staff members are now licensed UAS pilots.
For more information on our UAS program click here to visit our website