Killing them softly: Santa Clara County to ensure immature mosquitoes never grow up | News | Mountain View Online |

News

Killing them softly: Santa Clara County to ensure immature mosquitoes never grow up

Helicopter crews will disperse bacterium over Baylands to stunt mosquito larvae growth

The Santa Clara County Vector Control District will treat an area of the Palo Alto Flood Basin for winter salt marsh mosquitoes on Feb. 12. The treatment area is roughly bordered by Adobe Creek to the north, Adobe Creek Loop Trail to the east, East Bayshore Road to the south and Mayfield Slough to the west. Image courtesy Santa Clara County Vector Control District.

Santa Clara County will unleash an eco-friendly larvicide on mosquitoes in the Palo Alto Baylands on Wednesday.

Part of an annual tradition since 1992, the county's Vector Control District — tasked with monitoring and managing the spread of diseases such as the plague, rabies and other maladies that can come from rodents or insects like mosquitoes — will be covering Palo Alto Baylands trails with a soil bacterium esoterically known as the Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis or Bti.

What's more important to know than the egregiously long and hard-to-pronounce name of the bacteria is that the marsh trails of the Baylands are closed to the public during the treatment, which starts around 7:30 a.m. and is expected to last several hours, according to a county press release.

The public is advised to avoid the targeted areas.

Pesky and "known to bite viciously during the day," the winter salt marsh mosquito thrives in the Baylands and parts of the Zanker wetland in north San Jose, where eggs have already been laid in the moist soil, according to the press release. The eggs can stay dormant for several years. But eventually, they hatch and grow into full-grown adults around mid-February to mid-March, capable of feeding on mammals and humans up to more than 15 miles away from the original breeding grounds.

To stop mosquitoes from maturing, crews from the Vector Control District will use helicopters to efficiently cover a large area in the Palo Alto Flood Basin roughly bordered by Adobe Creek to the north, Adobe Creek Loop Trail to the east, East Bayshore Road to the south and Mayfield Slough to the west.

Bti is one half of the biorational larvicide that will be used against the mosquito population, along with methoprene, a common insect growth inhibitor. It's a certain species of naturally occurring bacteria that survives in the soil and produces proteins toxic to certain insects like mosquitoes when it's consumed, but harmless to humans, birds, fish and other insects such as honey bees.

"We have had tremendous success with these annual treatments," said Vector Control District Manager Nayer Zahiri. "Without this application, the public would notice a dramatic increase in the number of mosquitoes."

The public is encouraged by the district to report any mosquito-breeding grounds and take preventive measures such as dumping standing water around one's property, applying mosquito repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

For free mosquito control assistance the public can call the district office at 408-918-4770 or fill out a service request online at sccvector.org.

Democracy.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

3 people like this
Posted by Bye-bye Biden
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 11, 2020 at 10:00 am

[Post removed due to being off-topic]


3 people like this
Posted by ivg
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 11, 2020 at 12:15 pm

Mosquito larvae don't "mutate" into adults.


1 person likes this
Posted by Bye-bye Biden
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 11, 2020 at 12:30 pm

[Post removed due to being off-topic]


Like this comment
Posted by home of registered user
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 12, 2020 at 6:28 am

bump

Good solution.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


To post your comment, please login or register at the top of the page. This topic is only for those who have signed up to participate by providing their email address and establishing a screen name.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Redwood City gets two new barbecue restaurants
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 6,064 views

Flying: How to lower your impact
By Sherry Listgarten | 19 comments | 3,284 views

Premarital and Couples: Here Be Dragons!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,681 views

My angst about the disaster of these two debates
By Diana Diamond | 29 comments | 1,668 views

Finding Your Calling
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,295 views

 

Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

View Details